One of the biggest challenges the world faces today is the defeat of
Covid-19. Nanotechnology is being applied to the creation of coronavirus vaccines,
improved protective masks, stronger disinfectants, and better diagnostic methods.
This page provides examples of the research underway and the promise of
nanotechnology in this field. A few of the methods discussed have
reached the pre-clinical or clinical trial stage and a few applications
are ready now.
For more information about how to protect yourself and
your family from Covid-19, visit the
US Centers for Disease Control or
The world of immunology has made use of nanotechnology
for a long time. When addressing viruses such as the
coronavirus that causes Covid-19, nano is a logical
place to turn, because viruses themselves are naturally
occurring nanoparticles. In fact, nanomedicine has for
some time tried to replicate the characteristics of
viruses for applications such as targeted drug delivery.
But 2020 has brought vaccine development and nano
How Nanotechnology Is Being Used to FIght Covid-19
To find out how nanotechnology is fighting Covid-19,
click any of the links below for more information.
Researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research are using
ferritin nanoparticles in a vaccine
that may be able to protect against multiple coronavirus species and strains
Moderna has reported results of the Phase 3 clinical trail of a
vaccine using mRNA molecules that are
encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles. The FDA has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for this vaccine.
Novavax has developed a coronavirus vaccine candidate using
protein nanoparticles and
has started the Phase 3 clinical trial.
Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology
have shown that a
made with cellulose nanofibers can block virus size
particles. They believe the filters can be made
inexpensively and in high volume as would be needed for
single use filter cartridges.
Researchers are using
gold nanoparticles to make probes that attach to
Covid-19 RNA. They are developing testing equipment using
these probes that they believe will produce fast
turn-around testing with low error rate.
Researchers at Northwestern University and MIT are
working on using
nanostructures to deliver peptide molecules to
Covid-19 virus molecules. The peptide molecules may be
able to bond to the Covid-19 spike protein, therefore
disabling the virus molecule. However peptide molecules
don't survive long in the bloodstream, so the peptide
molecules will be carried by the nanostructures.
Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology are using a
nano-interferometric biosensor to develop a
point of use testing device for Covid-19.
Sona Nanotech is developing a diagnostic test for
using gold nanorods. The test is expected to provide
results in about 5 to 15 minutes and not require lab
Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a
filter mask using orthogonal
nanofibers which they report is equilivant to the N95 masks needed
for the coronavirus, with the advantage that the mask can filter small
particles even after being washed several times.
Mologic is developing and testing a hand held, nanoparticle based,
diagnostic system for
Covid-19 that is intended to provide results at the point of use,
rather than waiting for lab results.
Some organizations are applying
a coating of titanium dioxide nanocrystals on surfaces such as wall and
ceilings to reduce the
spread of the coronavirus . When the surface is
illuminated with VU light the
act as a photocatalytic disinfection system, helping kill virus on the
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology
have developed a test for Covid-19 that doesn't require
reagents (which are in limited supply). The test
silica coated magnetic nanoparticles. RNA from the
virus is attracted to the nanoparicles, which are then
extracted from the sample with a magnetic field.
Mammoth Biosciences has developed a test for Covid-19
dianostic techniques which give results in 45
minutes without needing to send the sample to a lab. The
first study published with this test reports accuracy
similar to lab test results.