Enhancing the development of therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 by exploring the properties of therapeutic nano-structures

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    SARS-CoV-2 may be the most significant challenge that modern society (and modern medicine) has faced. The epidemiological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 and its global impact will focus attention on all facets of medicine. Early evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 initially infects alveolar epithelium and associated macrophages. Thus, a potential strategy to bring medicinals into close contact with infecting virus is to target nano-structures via inhalation; a factor in considering nano-therapeutic design being their localization to the tissues and cells of the alveoli. Strategies that target intracellular pathways utilized by ligand-directed nano-therapeutics appear to potentially have efficacy, focusing upon signalling mechanisms that activate endocytotic pathways that are also utilized by SARS-CoV when infecting cell targets. Foci of the present paper are the retrograde cellular transport pathways that direct proteins/peptides to the endoplasmic reticulum. Speculation in this perspective identifies multiple sub-cellular compartments at which nanostructure-delivered antivirals may intersect those utilized by SARS-CoV-2 (and other RNA viruses). These include endocytosis pathways, points of viral entry to cells,and sites of viral assembly. In the context of the development of antivirals against SARS-CoV-2, the discussion here provides the stimulus for scientific debate. In bringing the context of nano-therapeutic design together with the very preliminary knowledge of the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2, it is hoped that this perspective is useful.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)525-532
    Number of pages9
    JournalPrecision Nanomedicine (PRNANO)
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


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