Nanotechnology vs. Covid-19

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 World Health Organization.

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 Queensland University of Technology have shown that a filter 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 Covid-19 using gold nanorods. The test is expected to provide results in about 5 to 15 minutes and not require lab analysis.

Moderna is conducting a Phase 1 clinical trail of a vaccine using mRNA molecules that are encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles.

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.

Novavax has developed a coronavirus vaccine candidate using protein nanoparticles and is planning a Phase 1 clinical trial to start in mid-May.

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 nanocrystals act as a photocatalytic disinfection system, helping kill virus on the surface.

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 uses 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 using CRSIPR 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.

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