Antiviral drugs used so far for treating COVID-19 has been focusing on targeting specific viral species. For effective treatment, scientists have found cellular nanosponges to restrict virus replication.
With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases every day, the hunt for treatment or vaccine is inevitable. So far the experimental studies on antiviral drugs are being used to treat a specific type of virus in this fight against COVID-19.
Currently, experts from California are trying to figure out a therapeutic agent to inhibit COVID-19 viral replication. Led by the nanoengineering department of the Jacobs School of Engineering, the research is based on a new technique of using a drug to focus on the affected host cells instead of targeting the causing agent.
It is well known that COVID-19 binds to the ACE2 proteins of the host to enter. So to counteract this effect cellula nanosponges were created by the experts. Nanosponges are human-made substances that tend to naturally target the COVID-19 virus. To form these cellular sponges, scientists use the cellular membranes of the cells present in the lungs.
These fabricated nanosponges were first tested out on the lungs by using the highest feasible dose of Epithelial-NS or MΦ-NS which was 300 μg (microgram) in a suspension of 20 μL (microlitre). The study resulted that both the therapeutics showed the ability to neutralize the COVID-19 virus.
“The efficiency of these cellular nanosponges for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection requires further investigation on proper animal models, which is underway, followed by human clinical trials” stated one of the leading authors of the study.