Viruses originating from birds and animals are known as zoonotic viruses. When these viruses are transmitted to humans through direct or indirect contact with infected populations, they cause a zoonotic spillover. Approximately 70% of infectious diseases over the last three decades are zoonotic. Because no immediate diagnosis or effective cure is available for the new virus, outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics are likely to spread rapidly.
Such viruses include Influenza A, Ebola, and three coronaviruses. Coronaviruses (CoV) have caused life-threatening epidemics such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV in the last five decades. The ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is one such zoonotic virus that has rapidly caused over 211 million infections and over 4.43 million deaths worldwide since December 2019. The severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of COVID-19, is a novel coronavirus strain transmitted by mammals.
Viruses and nanoparticles are in a comparable size range. The latter having attractive properties such as small size, large surface-to-volume ratio, susceptibility to modification, and intrinsic viricidal activity. Therefore, scientists functionalize nanoparticles to act against these pathogenic viruses in a clinical strategy. In a recent review published in the journal Microbial Pathogenesis, researchers look at the novel solutions against zoonotic viruses provided by nanotechnology.
Scope and classification of nanomaterials
Nanomaterials are described as ‘materials containing structural nanoelements which considerably improve or cause qualitatively new physical, chemical, biological, mechanical, and other properties.’ Excellent properties like the high surface area to volume ratio, high thermal conductivity, and faster signal transduction make the nanomaterials useful in clinical and biomedical applications. For example, nanomaterials in viral diagnostics have advanced sensitivity, the capability of multiplexing, and cost-effectiveness.
Detection of viruses
Rapid and reliable diagnostics is crucial to defend against any viral outbreak, especially in the case of a highly virulent strain. Conventional molecular diagnostic techniques rely on the amplification of the viral nucleic acids. However, these methods are time-consuming processes with lower specificity and accuracy – nanotechnology can remarkably address the challenges. Immobilizing specific ligands on the nanometric scale, nanotechnology is employed for molecular imaging and profiling in diagnostics.
Nanosensors, for rapid biosensing of virus-associated proteins, are advances in nanotechnology that are widely employed. Nano-sensors are nanoparticle-based devices that can sense signals at a nanoscale comprising three major components; a signal transducer, a receiver, and a detector with a monitoring output. Using these highly sensitive nano-sensors along with other analyzing instruments increases the detection efficiency and also helps deal with the point-of-care type (POCT) pervasive detection systems.
Novel magnetic relaxation nanosensors are used to rapidly detect influenza-associated proteins, adenovirus, and Herpes simplex virus (HSV). Few examples include: multiplex colorimetric paper-based analytical devices using silver nanoparticles can detect MERS-CoV, gold nanoparticles and quantum dots stain for HPV (Human papillomavirus), and chiroimmunosensors can detect infectious bronchitis virus.
A group of researchers proposed an optimized electroforming strategy to achieve a bioinspired nano-holed TiO2 coated Ti6Al4V alloy, according to a study published in the journal ACS Applied Material Interfaces. Near-infrared (NIR) energy plays a critical part [...]
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 2.8 million Americans experience antibiotic-resistant infections each year; more than 35,000 die from those infections. To address this critical and worldwide public health [...]
Scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Northwestern Medicine have identified natural extracellular vesicles containing the ACE2 protein (evACE2) in the blood of COVID-19 patients that can block infection from [...]
Scientists at Northwestern Medicine and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have identified natural nano-bubbles containing the ACE2 protein (evACE2) in the blood of COVID-19 patients and discovered these nano-sized particles can [...]
Pioneering Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, developed by experts at University of the West of Scotland (UWS), is capable of accurately diagnosing Covid-19 in just a few minutes. The groundbreaking program is able to detect [...]
Antimicrobial resistance poses a significant threat to humanity, health leaders have warned, as a study reveals it has become a leading cause of death worldwide and is killing about 3,500 people every day. More [...]
The Necessity of Novel Antiviral Materials With the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) being highly infectious and transmissible, the need for novel antiviral materials that can decrease viral activities has become paramount. Preparation procedures [...]
Individuals living with Type 1 diabetes must carefully follow prescribed insulin regimens every day, receiving injections of the hormone via syringe, insulin pump or some other device. And without viable long-term treatments, this course [...]
Researchers from the University of Sydney Nano Institute and School of Chemistry have revealed that tiny gas bubbles – nanobubbles just 100 billionths of a metre high – form on surfaces in unexpected situations, [...]
Innovative researchers have investigated the potential of incorporating a gelatin methacryloyl hydrogel functionalized with synthetic nanoclay laponite to improve the delivery of osteoblast derived extracellular vesicles for increased bone repair. This research has been [...]
A couple of essential biomolecules play a key role in the process of blood clotting. One of these is a protein called fibrinogen. It is often given to those who have experienced heavy bleeding, [...]
Nanoemulsions are a relatively new technology that has found significant use for delivering functional chemicals such as micronutrients, flavorings, bioactive molecules, and antimicrobial agents into food and beverage products. This article focuses on applying [...]
Researchers at Penn Medicine have discovered a new, more effective method of preventing the body's own proteins from treating nanomedicines like foreign invaders, by covering the nanoparticles with a coating to suppress the immune [...]
Bioinspired by tunicates and mussels, a Korean research team has created a “bomb-like” anticancer therapeutic agent that only destroys cancer cells. Schematic diagram of the mechanism of action of photoactivatable adhesive nanobombs made with [...]
(Reuters) - “Long COVID”, where symptoms of COVID-19 persist for months after an initial infection, could be emerging as a chronic disease in Finland, Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru said [...]