Is Nanotechnology helping in the fight against Covid 19, or Cancer?

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Re: Is Nanotechnology helping in the fight against Covid 19, or Cancer?

Post by trader32176 »

Light-controlled nanoparticles will play key role in biosensor development

5/11/21 ... ensor.html

Scientists from ITMO University have developed a production method for biointegrable nanoparticles that can be controlled via heat. With light irradiation, these particles change not only their shape, but their color, too. This discovery will be beneficial to the development of non-invasive biosensors, signal systems, and non-toxic dyes. The results of the study were published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

According to the authors of the study, the issue of controlled nanomaterials has been solved for a while, but the existing systems are rather toxic to living organisms, thus limiting their scope of application in medicine and biology. Researchers from ITMO University, however, succeeded in producing a fully biocompatible material with controllable properties.

"The nanoparticles are composed of silicon cores and biopolymer shells. The substances that make up the shells possess different hydrophobic/hydrophilic qualities, i.e. the way in which their molecules react to water. We were able to use that to make the particles contract or expand depending on external factors," explains Anna Nikitina, a staff member at ITMO's Infochemistry Scientific Center.

The nanoparticles change both shape and color under thermal influence. They can be used, for example, to perform non-invasive local temperature measurements in biological tissues or to design sensor systems capable of analyzing internal processes in living organisms. The new controllable systems can also be used to create thermo- and light-controlled dyes akin to liquid-crystal modulators used in holography and lithography. Changes in the color of the particles occur solely due to structural transformations.

"Our controlled particles can collect data from within an organism without the need for additional complex devices such as ultrasensitive spectral sensors. A simple change in color allows us to easily monitor what's happening to the particle in real time. The technology is multi-use, too: each particle can be turned on and off several times," says Valentin Milichko, a staff member at ITMO University's School of Physics and Engineering.

The researchers have been developing these controlled systems for three years, during which they experimented with various sizes and spatial characteristics of the nanoparticles, as well as searched for polymers that would exhibit the desired performance. For now, the systems' efficiency has been confirmed only in laboratory conditions. The next step in the study will be in vitro testing.

More information: Anna A. Nikitina et al. All‐Dielectric Nanostructures with a Thermoresponsible Dynamic Polymer Shell, Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2021). DOI: 10.1002/anie.202101188
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Re: Is Nanotechnology helping in the fight against Covid 19, or Cancer?

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Nanotechnology and COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment

5/17/21 ... tment.aspx

The development of nano-biosensors and nanoparticle-based vaccines and medicines has opened a new path toward better management of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In a recently published article in the journal ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, scientists have reviewed recent advancements in nanotechnology-based diagnostic and therapeutic interventions against human coronaviruses.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative pathogen of COVID-19, is an enveloped, single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus, which shares more than 50% sequence similarity with other lethal members of the human coronavirus family, including SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

SARS-CoV-2 primarily spreads from person to person via large respiratory droplets. However, some recent studies have indicated the possibility of airborne transmission via small respiratory aerosols.

Infection with SARS-CoV-2 initiates with the binding of viral spike protein to host cell angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Upon receptor binding, the spike protein is proteolytically activated by the host cell protease TMPRSS2, leading to dissociation of the spike S1/S2 subunit and fusion of the viral envelope with the host cell membrane.

Being a respiratory virus, SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the upper respiratory tract and causes mild to severe pulmonary illness. However, the virus can infect other vital organs and cause a wide range of clinical complications, including cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, hepatic, and nephrological disorders.

Nanomaterials in the diagnosis of viral infection

Molecular techniques such as reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are considered the gold standard for diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of RT-PCR strictly depend on the genetic consistency of the virus. The emergence of novel mutations in the target viral component can potentially affect the diagnostic efficiency of RT-PCR.

For image-based and clinical diagnostic of COVID-19, nanomaterials are emerging as promising substrates because of their unique optical, electronic, magnetic, and mechanical properties. Nanomaterials that have been proposed for viral detection include metal, silica, and polymeric nanoparticles, quantum dots, and carbon nanotubes.

Nanobiohybrid platforms

Nanomaterials can be conjugated with specific viral components, such as nucleic acid or protein, to develop nano-bio hybrid tools to detect viral infection. In this approach, multivalent nano-based probes are used for signal transduction.

Colorimetric analytical devices with silver nanoparticles as colorimetric substrates have been developed to detect MERS-CoV nucleic acids. Similarly, gold nanoparticle and quantum dot-based immunosensors have been developed to detect Avian coronavirus infection. Such immunosensor-based methods exhibit higher accuracy and sensitivity and faster turnaround time than ELISA.

To detect Avian coronaviruses, immunochromatographic strips have been developed using conjugates of viral spike-specific monoclonal antibody and colloidal gold as tracers. Similarly, lateral flow assays have been developed for accurate SARS-CoV-2 detection. In these assays, a paper strip is coated with conjugates of gold nanoparticle and virus-specific antibodies in the first line. In the second line, capture antibodies are used for coating. For detection, biological samples are placed on the strip, and proteins of interest are placed on the membrane. After binding of viral antigens to the nanoparticle–antibody conjugates, the entire complex flows through the strip and is immobilized by the capture antibodies in the second line. This leads to the appearance of a colored line.

To monitor spike – ACE2 interaction, an energy transfer system has been developed using recombinant spike RBD conjugated with fluorescent quantum dots, gold nanoparticles, and cells expressing GFP-tagged ACE2. Similarly, an advanced field-effect transistor biosensor has been developed using graphene sheets conjugated to a specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike antibody. This biosensor is used for ultrasensitive sensing and detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens.

Microfluidic devices

In microfluidic devices, a polymer-, glass-, or paper-based chip is fixed with reaction chambers and microchannels. Using capillary, vacuum, or electrokinetic forces, this device mixes and separates liquid samples.

Recently, a smartphone-based microfluidic platform has been developed for colorimetric detection of antibodies against HIV infection. This platform is composed of ZnO nanorods and polydimethylsiloxane.

Nanomaterials in treatment of viral infection

Nanomaterials, such as silver colloid, titanium dioxide, and diphyllin nanoparticles, are considered promising antiviral agents and drug-delivery platforms for the effective management of coronavirus infection.

Nano-based gene therapy

Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are highly efficient in reducing the replication of RNA viruses, such as coronaviruses. The efficacy of siRNA-based treatments strictly depends on specific targeting of the viral sequence of interest and targeted cellular delivery of therapeutic siRNA. In this context, nontoxic, biocompatible nanocarriers composed of polymers, lipids, polymer/lipid hybrid nanoparticles, nanohydrogels, silica, dendrimers, iron oxide nanoparticles, or gold nanoparticles are considered as promising siRNA-delivery platforms. These nanocarriers can improve siRNA stability by preventing enzymatic degradation.

For inhalable antiviral siRNA loading and aerosol-based delivery of antiviral siRNA in the lungs, polymer/lipid nanocarriers have shown promising outcomes. Similarly, Cholesterol-conjugated lipid nanoparticles have shown high potency in delivering mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines.

Nano-based immunotherapy

Nanoparticulate forms of immunomodulatory agents have shown promising outcomes in terms of modulating the functions of immune components and reducing immunomodulation-related toxicity. In addition, nanoparticles, such as dendrimers, liposomes, carbon nanotubes, polymer-based materials, and inorganic nanoparticles, can be incorporated with several antigens for a more robust activation of the immune system.

Nano-based vaccines

Antiviral nanoparticles have been used as potential immunostimulatory agents for vaccine development. For example, gold nanoparticles conjugated with swine transmissible gastroenteritis virus have been used to activate macrophages, induce interferon production, and increase anti-coronavirus neutralizing antibody levels in vaccinated animals. Similarly, conjugates of ribonucleic acid and ferritin-based nanoparticles have been used as molecular chaperons to develop a vaccine against MERS-CoV. The vaccine has been shown to induce a strong T cell response and promote interferon production.

Currently, nanotechnology is playing an increasingly important role in antiviral therapy for coronaviruses. Nanomaterials have been developed specifically to improve the delivery of biotherapeutics across physiological barriers. A broad range of potential nanodevices, such as nanosensors, nano-based vaccines, and smart nanomedicines, offers great hope for combating current and future mutated versions of coronaviruses.

Journal reference:

Bidram E. 2021. Nanobased Platforms for Diagnosis and Treatment of COVID-19: From Benchtop to Bedside. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering. ... ls.1c00318
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Re: Is Nanotechnology helping in the fight against Covid 19, or Cancer?

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Could an antiviral mouthwash using silver nanoparticles prevent COVID-19?

5/24/21 ... ID-19.aspx

People who come in contact with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients are high-risk individuals for becoming infected with its causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Viral transmission in hospitals is a particular area of concern, as the close interaction between the healthcare personnel and the patients helps the transmission of the virus – between them, their families and subsequently to their communities.

Despite various public health interventions implemented, such as adaptation of areas with negative air pressure, isolation areas for patients with COVID-19, and the mandatory use of personal protective equipment (PPE), controlling SARS-CoV-2's spread has had mixed results. In the absence of effective antiviral treatments, the ongoing vaccination campaign is the main strategy across the globe to prevent SARS-CoV-2.

In a recent study by a team of researchers in Mexico, Russia and Spain, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were found to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare workers. They propose a non-pharmaceutical public health intervention consisting of mouthwash and nose rinse with an AgNPs solution to reduce morbidity among healthcare personnel exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The researchers demonstrated clinical evidence to confirm the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in health personnel who performed mouthwash and nose rinse solution with AgNPs.

To our knowledge, this study is the first experimental in vitro and in vivo trial where AgNPs as mouthwash and nasal rinse solution are applied for SARS-CoV-2 contagion prevention," say the researchers.

The study, published on the preprint medRxiv* server, tested a mouthwash ARGOVIT® AgNPs which contains AgNPs and evaluated for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in health workers.

This is an oral and nasal hygiene product registered and made in Russia. It contains metallic silver, polyvinylpyrrolidone, hydrolyzed collagen and distilled water. The hydrolyzed collagen stabilizes the AgNPs and reduces the cytotoxicity. AgNPs have been demonstrated to have robust antimicrobial, including antiviral, effects.

First, they demonstrated the antiviral activity of the AgNPs in Vero E6 cell cultures. The researchers observed a dose-dependent inhibitory effect of AgNPs over SARS-CoV-2 infectivity.

Second, the researchers designed a randomized controlled study of two-group (experimental vs. control) to evaluate the efficacy of the mouthwash and nasal rinse with AgNPs solution for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in the health personnel at the General Tijuana Hospital in Mexico. These individuals (n=231) work in high-risk areas with direct contact with patients infected and diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or atypical pneumonia.

This study was carried out for 9 weeks during the declaration of the pandemic in Mexico (beginning on April 7 through June 9, 2020). The researchers confirmed the diagnosis of COVID-19 among the participants by monitoring the symptoms, conducting RT-PCR, randomly selecting for CT chest scans and clinical evaluation.

Using logistic regression, the strong relationship between the fact of mouthwashes and nose rinse in the health personnel and the mitigation of the SARS-CoV-2 contagion with an efficiency of 84.8% is proved."

Significantly, the study also showed no harmful side effects in the participants who used AgNPs as a mouthwash and nasal rinse for 9 weeks. The researchers observed that the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly reduced in the "experimental" group (two participants out of 114 were COVID-19 positive, 1.8%) compared to the "control" group (thirty-three participants out of 117 were COVID-19 positive, 28.2%). This calculated to an efficiency of 84.8%, suggesting that the mouthwash could be an effective use of AgNPs in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The researchers also recommended the application to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in high-risk areas such as dental procedures. Because the oropharynx and nasopharynx are the initial entry sites for SARS-CoV-2 and it replicates to produce a viral load of 1.2 × 108 infectious copies/per mL, it is a high risk of exposure for the odontologist.

The evidence presented in this study suggests that the application of mouthwashes and nose rinse can significantly reduce the viral load in these areas, to reduce transmission, in addition to the use of personal protective equipment by healthcare personnel," the researchers said.

This study presents a new non-pharmaceutical intervention using nanoparticles in a clinical setting to reduce the spread, and/or pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 associated with COVID-19.

Proving its inhibitory effect on SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in vitro it is inferred that the use of AgNPs as a mouthwash and nose rinse will be very useful as a prophylactic for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2, not only for healthcare personnel but also as additional protection for the general population, the researchers write.
*Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or treated as established information.

Journal reference:

Horacio Almanza-Reyes, Sandra Moreno, Ismael Plascencia-Lopez, Martha Alvarado-Vera, Leslie Patron-Romero, Belen Borrego, Alberto Reyes-Escamilla, Daniel Valencia-Manzo, Alejandro Brun, Alexey Pestryakov, Nina Bogdanchikova. Evaluation of silver nanoparticles for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in health workers: in vitro and in vivo. medRxiv 2021.05.20.21256197; doi:, ... 21256197v1
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Re: Is Nanotechnology helping in the fight against Covid 19, or Cancer?

Post by trader32176 »

Nanobody inhalation found to be effective against COVID-19 in hamsters

5/27/21 ... sters.aspx

In a recent Science Advances paper, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine describe an aerosolized nanobody formulation that was found to effectively block the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Syrian hamsters.

An overview of COVID-19 treatments

As of May 25, 2021, over 168 million people have been infected by the novel SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), worldwide. Of these 168 million people, almost 3.5 million people have died as a result of COVID-19.

When SARS-CoV-2 first emerged, many healthcare professionals around the world turned to the use of high-titer convalescent plasma (CP) to reduce the risk of the severe effects of COVID-19 in senior patients. Since every plasma unit that has been obtained from previously infected COVID-19 patients will contain varying amounts of neutralizing antibodies, several institutions began isolating these neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for recombinant productions.

Limitations of mAbs in treating COVID-19

The in vivo evaluations of these mAbs in murine, hamster, and nonhuman primate (NHP) models have provided information on the efficacy of this therapeutic approach, as well as the mechanisms by which mAbs may alter the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Despite these findings, mAbs must often be administered in exceedingly high doses through intravenous injections.

There are several possible explanations as to why such high doses of mAbs are required to effectively neutralize SARS-CoV-2. These include the virulence and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2, as well as the low efficiency of delivering large biomolecules through the intravenous route to treat pulmonary infections.

To overcome these challenges, a group of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine studied how inhalable nanobodies (Nbs) could be used to treat SARS-CoV-2 in Syrian hamsters.

What is the difference between mAbs and Nbs?

In a previous study, the University of Pittsburgh researchers discuss their development of camelid single-domain antibody fragments or Nbs that primarily target the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) surface protein.

Although both Nbs and mAbs similarly neutralize SARS-CoV-2, Nbs are much smaller than mAbs. Nbs are also much more stable than mAbs and offer a high level of solubility. Both of these characteristics allow for the storage and transportation of these agents to be much easier, which is particularly important during a pandemic. Furthermore, Nbs are substantially cheaper to produce as compared to mAbs.

Targeting inhaled nanobodies against SARS-CoV-2

In their most recent Science Advances study, the researchers evaluated the efficacy of the Pittsburgh inhalable Nanobody 21 (PiN-21) for both the prophylaxis and treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected Syrian hamsters. Shortly after getting infected with SARS-CoV-2, PiN-21 was delivered intranasally to the hamsters at an average dose of 0.6 milligrams (mg)/kilogram (kg).

The hamsters that received PiN-21 did not experience any significant weight loss as compared to the hamsters that did not receive PiN-21. Moreover, the control hamsters instead experienced a rapid loss of up to 16% of their body weight. In addition to assessing the weight loss in the hamsters, the researchers also found that the intranasal delivery of PiN-21 reduced viral titer levels within the lungs of the hamsters.

When PiN-21 was aerosolized using a nebulizer (PiN-21Alb), the researchers found that about half of the dose of PiN-21 was needed to achieve the same anti-viral effects against SARS-CoV-2 when using PiN-21Alb.

The researchers believe that the aerosolization of the Nbs significantly improved their delivery deep into the lungs. In fact, the researchers confirmed that the Nb treatment successfully penetrated deep into the terminal alveoli, which are lined with alveolar cells that are rich in the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor.

Since SARS-CoV-2 primarily uses the ACE2 receptor to gain entry into the host cell, the ability of PiN-21 and PiN-21Alb to exert their antiviral effects at this level of the pulmonary system is a remarkable finding. Furthermore, the fact that PiN-21Alb can maintain this efficacy at reduced doses has the potential to minimize any potential adverse effects that this drug might have on the host.

Taken together, the aerosolized Nbs evaluated in this study have the potential to be a convenient and cost-effective solution in reducing the severity and transmission of COVID-19.

Journal reference:

Nambulli, S., Xiang, Y., Tilston-Lunel, N. L., et al. (2021). Inhalable Nanobody (PiN-21) prevents and treats SARS-CoV-2 infections in Syrian hamsters at ultra-low doses. Science Advances 7(22). doi:10.1126/sciadv.abh0319.
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Re: Is Nanotechnology helping in the fight against Covid 19, or Cancer?

Post by trader32176 »

Cell mechanics research is making chemotherapy friendlier

5/27/21 ... dlier.html

Malignant tumor cells undergo mechanical deformation more easily than normal cells, allowing them to migrate throughout the body. The mechanical properties of prostate cancer cells treated with the most commonly used anti-cancer drugs have been investigated at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow. According to the researchers, current drugs can be used more effectively and at lower doses.

In cancer, a key factor contributing to the formation of metastasis is the ability of the neoplastic cells to undergo mechanical deformation. At the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) in Cracow, research on the mechanical properties of cells has been conducted for a quarter of a century. The latest study, carried out in cooperation with the Department of Medical Biochemistry of the Jagiellonian University Medical College, concerned several drugs currently used in prostate cancer chemotherapy, and specifically their impact on the mechanical properties of cancer cells. The results are optimistic: everything indicates that the doses of some drugs can be reduced without the risk of reducing their effectiveness.

Chemotherapy is an extremely brutal attack not only on the patient's cancer cells but on all the cells in the body. By using it, doctors hope that the more sensitive tumor cells will die before the healthy ones begin to die. In this situation, it is crucial to know how to choose the optimal drug in a given case and how to determine its minimum dose, which on the one hand will guarantee the effectiveness of the treatment and on the other hand will minimize the adverse effects of the therapy.

As early as 1999, physicists from the IFJ PAN showed that cancer cells deform mechanically more easily. In practice, this fact means that they can squeeze through the narrow vessels of the circulatory and/or lymphatic systems with greater efficiency.

"The mechanical properties of a cell are determined by elements of its cytoskeleton such as the microtubules we examine, built of tubulin (a protein), actin filaments and intermediate filaments made of proteins such as keratin or vimentin," says Prof. Malgorzata Lekka from the Department of Biophysical Microstructures IFJ PAN and adds: "Biomechanical measurements of cells are carried out using an atomic force microscope. Depending on the needs, we can press the probe more or less onto the cell, and in this way we obtain a mechanical response coming from structures lying either at its surface, i.e. at the cell membrane, or deeper, even at the cell nucleus. However, in order to obtain information about the effects of a drug, we must evaluate what contribution each type of cytoskeleton fiber makes to the mechanical properties of the cell."

In the currently reported results, the Cracow-based physicists presented experiments using the commercially available DU145 human prostate cancer cell line. This line was chosen for its drug resistance. Undergoing long-term drug exposure, these cells become resistant to the drugs over time and not only do not die but even begin to divide.

"We focused on the effects of three commonly used drugs: vinflunine, colchicine and docetaxel. They all act on the microtubules, which is desirable since these fibers are essential for cell division. Docetaxel stabilizes the microtubules and therefore also increases the rigidity of the tumor cells and makes it difficult for them to migrate throughout the body. The other two drugs destabilize the microtubules, so cancer cells can migrate, but due to the disturbed functions of the cytoskeleton, they are unable to divide," says Ph.D. student Andrzej Kubiak, the first author of the article published in the prestigious Nanoscale.

The researchers from Cracow analyzed the viability and mechanical properties of cells 24, 48 and 72 hours after drug treatment, and it turned out that the greatest changes were observed three days after drug exposure. This allowed them to determine two concentrations of drugs: one higher, which destroyed cells, and one lower, at which although cells survived, their mechanical properties were found to be altered. For obvious reasons, what happened to the cells in the latter case was of particular interest. The precise interpretation of some of the results required several tools, such as a confocal microscope and flow cytometry. Their use was possible thanks to cooperation with the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow, the Department of Cell Biology at the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University and the University of Milan (Department of Physics, Universita degli Studi di Milano).

"It has been known for some time that when microtubules are damaged, some of their functions are taken over by actin filaments. The combination of measurements of the mechanical properties of cells with images from confocal and fluorescence microscopes allowed us to observe this effect. We were able to accurately determine the areas in the cell affected by a given drug and understand how its impact changes over time," emphasized Ph.D. student Kubiak.

Practical conclusions can be drawn from the research of the Cracow physicists. For example, the effect of vinflunine is clearly visible in the nuclear region but is compensated by the actin filaments. As a result, the cell remains rigid enough to continue to multiply. On the other hand, 48 hours after the administration of the drug, the effects of docetaxel are most visible, mainly at the cell periphery. This fact also alerts us to the increased role of actin filaments and means that the therapy should be supported with a drug that acts on these filaments.

"Until now, there has been little research into the effectiveness of low concentrations of anti-cancer drugs. We show that the issue is really worth taking an interest in. For if we understand the mechanisms of action of individual drugs, we can maintain—and sometimes even increase—their current effectiveness while at the same time reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. In this way, chemotherapy can become more patient-friendly, which should affect not only the patient's physical health but also their mental attitude which is so necessary in the fight against cancer," concludes Prof. Lekka.

More information: Andrzej Kubiak et al, Stiffening of DU145 prostate cancer cells driven by actin filaments – microtubule crosstalk conferring resistance to microtubule-targeting drugs, Nanoscale (2021). DOI: 10.1039/d0nr06464e
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Re: Is Nanotechnology helping in the fight against Covid 19, or Cancer?

Post by trader32176 »

How can nanomaterials help in the fight against COVID-19?

6/3/21 ... ID-19.aspx

Researchers have reviewed different types of nanomaterials and how they can be used for the detection, prevention, and treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

A variety of different strategies have been tested or are under development for combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Several types of nanomaterials have also been tested for treatment and diagnosis. Many vaccines currently deployed also use nanomaterials in their composition. In a recent review paper, published in the Sustainable Cities and Society, authors reviewed the different types of nanomaterials and their uses in combating the pandemic.

Many materials have been made into nanometer size. They include carbon materials, metals, inorganic, and polymeric materials. Carbon nanomaterials include graphene, graphene oxide, carbon nanotubes, and fullerenes. These materials have good sensing and antimicrobial properties, which can be used for COVID-19 applications.

Carbon nanomaterials

Graphene-based field-effect transistors have been used to analyze COVID-19 viral loads in samples. Studies have shown highly sensitive and fast detection of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) – the causative pathogen of COVID-19 – without any sample pretreatment. Graphene oxide has also been used as an antiviral agent. Graphene and graphene oxide have been used in face masks to inactivate viruses and allow mask reuse.

Another useful carbon nanomaterial is carbon nanotubes. They have several useful properties like high surface area, good biocompatibility, and easy chemical functionalization. They have been tested in virus detection, virus inactivation, use in face masks, including their use in microfluidic devices using carbon nanotube arrays for virus detection. However, these materials can interact with DNA in animals, so their use in vivo is still questionable.

Metal and metal-based nanoparticles

Many types of metal and metal-based nanoparticles have been used for combating viruses. Gold nanoparticles are one of the most studied such materials. Studies have shown a gold nanoparticle-sialic acid composite can prevent virus attachment to host cells. Several sensors using gold nanoparticles have been used to identify disease cells and for DNA amplification, and these techniques could also be used for detecting SARS-CoV-2.

Copper is known to inactivate viruses. Several studies have reported the antimicrobial activity of copper nanoparticles, which could be used for making personal protective equipment, for example. SARS-CoV-2 has also been found to be deactivated on copper surfaces faster than other surfaces.

Another metal known for its antimicrobial activity is silver. Silver nanoparticles have been reported to inhibit several viruses like monkeypox, HIV-1, HSV, and others. Zn is another metal that has been reported to help in COVID-19, with studies suggesting chloroquine could act as a zinc ionophore. Increasing the concentration of Zn in cells is thought to help better combat COVID-19.

Iron oxide nanoparticles have been used to cure anemia, and in vitro studies have shown they also have antiviral properties. Computational analysis has shown iron nanoparticles can bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. In addition, the magnetic properties of these nanoparticles have been used in biosensors for virus and other pathogen detection. Other metal oxides that may help combat COVID-19 are titanium dioxide, which could help with photocatalytic decontamination of virus-infected surfaces.

Two-dimensional metal carbides and nitrides (MXenes) are another class of emerging materials used to inactivate viruses on face masks, as are metal-organic framework (MOF) materials.

Quantum dots

Quantum dots are generally semiconductor nanoparticles less than about 10 nm in size, having a tunable optical wavelength. Hence, they are used as fluorescent probes and sensors. Carbon quantum dots have been shown to have antiviral properties. In addition, they can be potentially used to inactivate viruses because of their interaction with the spike protein or inhibiting viral replication.

Polymer-based nanoparticles

Both synthetic and natural polymer-based nanomaterials can be used to combat microbial infections. Synthetic polymer nanoparticles such as poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid are well-known delivery vehicles for delivering drugs or other materials in the body.

Cellulose-based natural polymers are used in many filters and in face masks to filter out virus particles. Nanocellulose materials have also been used in sensors and displays to improve their sensitivity. Chitosan nanoparticles are another natural polymer-based materials widely used as drug carriers and delivery vehicles.

Lipid nanoparticles are another class of materials made of different lipid materials and have been studied as delivery platforms for mRNA-based vaccines, including for COVID-19.

Although several types of nanomaterials are being used or have the potential to be used to combat COVID-19, their toxicity and sustainable use need to be studied further. At the same time, clinical trials have shown that the use of lipid nanoparticles in vaccine technology – such as the novel mRNA platform – is safe and very promising in terms of efficacy. Collecting more information from these trials could pave the way for their use in more complex nanomedicine technologies.

Journal reference:

Ghaemi, F. et al. (2021) Role of different types of nanomaterials against diagnosis, prevention and therapy of COVID-19. Sustainable Cities and Society., ... via%3Dihub.
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Re: Is Nanotechnology helping in the fight against Covid 19, or Cancer?

Post by trader32176 »

Carbon-based antimicrobial nanoweapons to fight COVID-19

6/15/21 ... ID-19.aspx

In a recent review article published in the journal ACS Nano, interdisciplinary researchers from across the world evaluated the role of carbon-based nanomaterials (CBNs), such as fullerene, carbon dots, graphene, and their derivatives as promising alternatives to combat COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) and other microbial infections. Due to the mainly physical mode of action of CBNs, there is a low risk of antimicrobial resistance and a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity.

In this review, the researchers presented CBNs with antiviral activity against 13 enveloped positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of COVID-19.

CBNs show low or no toxicity to humans and are therefore promising therapeutics against the COVID-19 pneumonia complex and other viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including those that are multidrug-resistant, the researchers highlight.

"Alternative materials such as CBNs with intrinsic broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity represent a promising option that would probably overcome the microbial resistance problem due to their differential antimicrobial mechanisms."

The recent pandemic outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 has caused over 176 million infections and over 3.8 million deaths globally. With no successful therapeutic options, the pandemic continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality. COVID-19 disease is associated with viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

While the researchers noted the infliction of the virus by causing moderate and severe COVID-19, they also highlighted the rapid spread and coexistence of SARS-CoV-2 with a broad range of other types of clinically relevant microorganisms, including those which are multidrug-resistant. Pneumonia is rampant with antibiotic resistance.

With antibiotic resistance in bacterial pneumonia treatment, the present scenario constitutes a life-threatening situation to humans. It is reported that CBNs are emerging as promising options that have shown potent antiviral activity against a broad range of enveloped positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2.

"Also, they exert an effective biocidal action against a broad spectrum of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, including multidrug-resistant strains," the researchers added.

They proposed the CBNs as the next generation of antimicrobials. Although other nanomaterials such as silver, copper, titanium, or zinc nanoparticles show potent broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, there exists microbial resistance to these nanomaterials and high toxicity to the mammalian cells.

CBNs have unique properties: very high surface area, excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, biocompatibility, and also the possibility to be combined with engineered polymers to develop advanced antimicrobial biomaterial composites. These render the CBNs to be potential candidates for long-term therapeutics.

In a schematic, the researchers also presented how the CBNs in combination with MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells) have the potential to target the pathophysiological events (during a SARS-CoV-2 infection), acting as an alternative strategy for treating COVID-19 patients. They proposed the use of CBNs in combination with stem cell therapies for tissue regeneration as well.

The researchers analyzed the antiviral properties of CBNs individually, with each different carbon-based structure, such as fullerene (a zero-dimensional allotrope), carbon dots (or carbon quantum dots), graphene (two-dimensional CBNs), and the derivatives against 13 enveloped positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2. The researchers have summarized the list of studies in a tabulated form.

While the CBNs are promising nanomaterials as alternative antiviral agents, their mechanism of action is still not understood completely. The researchers discussed the possible mechanism of each CBNs in the review, mentioning the immunostimulatory properties and followed by the toxicological aspects.

"CBNs could work directly against the virus particle by distorting the envelope or the capsid organization; additionally, they may exert a steric hindrance effect by physically occupying a catalytic site of an essential viral enzyme or a receptor cavity," observed the researchers.

In conclusion, the researchers highlighted the promising antiviral activity of CBNs against the 13 enveloped viruses (HCoV, PRRSV, PEDV, HIV-1, HIV-2, FCoV, JEV, SIV, M-MuLV, ZIKV, DENV, HCV, and SARS-CoV-2), all single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses belonging to the Baltimore group IV. They call these CBNs 'antimicrobial nanoweapons' that can be employed to combat SARS-CoV-2 and other types of viruses, bacteria, or fungi causing pneumonia, emphasizing the multidrug-resistant strains.

"As a revolutionary technology approach to treat COVID-19, these carbon-based therapeutics can provide a significant breakthrough, as these nanomaterials allow the targeting of microbial resistance issues and can potentially induce tissue regeneration at the same time."

Journal reference:

Carbon-Based Nanomaterials: Promising Antiviral Agents to Combat COVID-19 in the Microbial-Resistant Era, Ángel Serrano-Aroca, Kazuo Takayama, Alberto Tuñón-Molina, Murat Seyran, Sk. Sarif Hassan, Pabitra Pal Choudhury, Vladimir N. Uversky, Kenneth Lundstrom, Parise Adadi, Giorgio Palù, Alaa A. A. Aljabali, Gaurav Chauhan, Ramesh Kandimalla, Murtaza M. Tambuwala, Amos Lal, Tarek Mohamed Abd El-Aziz, Samendra Sherchan, Debmalya Barh, Elrashdy M. Redwan, Nicolas G. Bazan, Yogendra Kumar Mishra, Bruce D. Uhal, and Adam Brufsky, ACS Nano 2021 15 (5), 8069-8086, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.1c00629,
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Re: Is Nanotechnology helping in the fight against Covid 19, or Cancer?

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New theranostic approach joins radiopharmaceuticals and nanoparticles to kill cancer cells

6/14/21 ... 061021.php

Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

Reston, VA (Embargoed until 12:30 p.m. EDT, Monday, June 14, 2021) - Researchers have successfully developed a novel cancer treatment approach that utilizes Cerenkov radiation energy to target and destroy cancer cells more effectively. The approach uses light from decaying radiopharmaceuticals, known as Cerenkov luminescence, as an energy source to activate semiconducting polymer nanoparticles that kill cancer cells. This research was presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting.

Over the past several decades, many studies have been conducted on photodynamic therapy, which uses an external light source to activate nanomaterials for cancer therapy. This therapy, however, is limited by the ability of external light to penetrate tissues. As Cerenkov luminescence is spontaneously produced from certain radiopharmaceuticals as they decay in the body, it has recently been proposed as an internal energy source for cancer therapy.

While Cerenkov luminescence is advantageous because it is a light source produced inside of the body, the light source is generally very weak. "The good news is that the light source can be amplified with semiconducting polymers, which greatly increases its potential to target and destroy cancer cells," said Zachary Rosenkrans, graduate research assistant at University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, Wisconsin. "In our study we aimed to determine how to best utilize radiopharmaceuticals and nanoparticles to create the ideal cancer theranostics nanosystem."

Researchers found that semiconducting polymer nanoparticles optimized with photosensitizers dramatically intensified Cerenkov luminescence to kill cancer cells. Positron emission tomography and optical imaging studies also clearly visualized tumor uptake of these optimized semiconducting polymer nanoparticles. This approach was found to have excellent potential as a cancer theranostics nanosystem without any tissue penetration limits.

"This work is an important step toward translating nanomaterials that are activated by light, using radiopharmaceuticals as an activation source. The basic concept, using semiconducting polymers to harness and amplify light produced from radiopharmaceuticals, is also very exciting and could have many interesting applications in the future," Rosenkrans noted.

Abstract 71. "Semiconducting polymers enhance Cerenkov radiation energy transfer for multimodal cancer theranostics," Zachary Rosenkrans, Dalong NI, Kaelyn Becker, Eduardo Aluicio-Sarduy, Jonathan Engle, and Weibo Cai, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin.

All 2021 SNMMI Annual Meeting abstracts can be found online at
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