Jones GW, Monopoli MP, Campagnolo L, Pietroiusti A, Tran L, Fadeel B
Nanomedicine (Lond) 15 (24) 2411-2427 [2020-10-00; online 2020-09-02]
There is an urgent need for safe and effective approaches to combat COVID-19. Here, we asked whether lessons learned from nanotoxicology and nanomedicine could shed light on the current pandemic. SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent, may trigger a mild, self-limiting disease with respiratory symptoms, but patients may also succumb to a life-threatening systemic disease. The host response to the virus is equally complex and studies are now beginning to unravel the immunological correlates of COVID-19. Nanotechnology can be applied for the delivery of antiviral drugs or other repurposed drugs. Moreover, recent work has shown that synthetic nanoparticles wrapped with host-derived cellular membranes may prevent virus infection. We posit that nanoparticles decorated with ACE2, the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, could be exploited as decoys to intercept the virus before it infects cells in the respiratory tract. However, close attention should be paid to biocompatibility before such nano-decoys are deployed in the clinic.