Nanotechnology in Battle Against Coronavirus


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak

The novel coronavirus disease, labeled by the World Health Organization (WHO) as COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019. Compared to the previously identified coronaviruses such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the fatality rate of COVID-19 is substantially lower but it is more transmissible, in so far as it has spread to over 231 countries, infected more than 702,407,000 people, and claimed over 6,974,000 lives to date (Worldometer, Jan 27). As one of the game-changers of the past decade, nanotechnology holds great promise in offering innovative solutions to a wide range of problems regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19, in which nanotechnologists undoubtedly play a key role and shoulder their social responsibility. This webpage covers the most recent advances of nanotechnology in fighting COVID-19.


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Nano Insights into Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Considering the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, apart from staying at home, people need other items to halt the spread of this respiratory disease. Various nanotechnology products are available to equip people for combating COVID-19. Even though nanoparticles or nanofibers–improved respiratory masks and gloves are required to be employed outside to limit the number of people exposed to potential risks, soaps, sanitizers, disinfectants, shampoos, and detergents, composed of antiviral and antibacterial nanomaterials, can be used inside to fight against this pandemic. Graphene, nanodiamond, polymer nanofibers (e.g., polyacrylonitrile), and such nanoparticles as silver, titanium dioxide, and copper oxide are commonly incorporated into these categories of products so as to contribute to their proficiency.




▌Specific benefits of Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMV) based #COVID_19 #vaccine include easier and non-invasive administration, rapid cost-effective production, potent intrinsic adjuvanticity and the increased safety and stability of OMV. | more

▌PAC-MAN technology is composed of the virus-killing #enzyme Cas13 and a strand of guide RNA, which commands Cas13 to destroy specific nucleotide sequences in the #SARS_CoV_2 genome. | more

▌Multi-drug nanoparticles containing #adenosine and #squalene, encapsulated in a type of #vitamin_E can help humans fight off the severe #cytokine_storm that occurs in severe cases of #COVID_19. | more

▌The #STARR technology platform combines self-replicating #RNA with LUNAR, a leading nanoparticle non-viral delivery system, to produce proteins inside the human body. | more

▌Three #vaccine candidates based on the #horsepox vector platform designed to express various SARS-CoV-2 antigens. | more


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Nanotechnology vs. Coronavirus Latest Updates


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Nanotechnology Products for Fighting Coronavirus

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Organizations Deploying Nanotechnology to Detect and Tackle Coronavirus


Moderna, Inc.

Moderna, Inc. is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company that is focused on drug discovery and drug development based on novel lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-encapsulated mRNA vaccine against the COVID-19 encoding for a prefusion stabilized form of the Spike (S) protein.

Novavax, Inc.

Novavax developed a novel Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus vaccine candidate in 2013, post the identification of the first MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The candidate is designed to primarily bind to the major surface S-protein and developed using the company’s recombinant nanoparticle vaccine technology. Novavax has produced several nanoparticle vaccine candidates for testing in animal models. The company aims to carry out human trials in 2020.

NanoViricides Inc.

NanoViricides, a clinical-stage company, is working on developing a treatment for nCoV-2019 using its nanoviricide® technology. The company’s technology is used to develop ligands that can bind to the virus in the same way as a cognate receptor and attack various points of the virus. NanoViricides confirms it has been working on a treatment for the novel Wuhan coronavirus.

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Alnylam is leading the translation of RNA interference (RNAi) into a whole new class of innovative medicines. Recent Alnylam advances in lung delivery technology suggest possible utility of siRNAs in targeting SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


CanSino Biologics Inc.

CanSino Biologics Inc is an innovative biopharmaceutical company dedicated to exploring best solutions to the prevention of diseases through cutting edge research & development, advanced manufacturing and commercialization of innovative vaccine products. CanSino’s Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine (Adenovirus Type 5 Vector) candidate has been approved to enter into Phase 1 Clinical Trial.


Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech) is a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. Based on its deep expertise in mRNA vaccine development and in-house manufacturing capabilities, BioNTech and its collaborators are developing multiple mRNA vaccine candidates for a range infectious diseases including COVID-19. The company employs multiple mRNA delivery formulations, such as LPNs, each designed for different functions and optimized for therapeutic product needs based on the intended application and route of delivery.

Sona Nanotech Inc

Sona Nanotech Inc. is a nanotechnology life sciences firm that has developed two proprietary methods for the manufacture of rod-shaped gold nanoparticles. Sona will integrate its proprietary nanotechnology into a disposable lateral flow test platform to create a new rapid test for Covid-19. Though best known for its use in the home pregnancy test, lateral flow technology is used in the detection of a range of viruses and infectious diseases including hepatitis, HIV and Ebola.

Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd

Oxford Nanopore Technologies is a private company headquartered at the Oxford Science Park outside Oxford, UK. Its sequencing platform is the only technology that offers real-time analysis in fully scalable formats that can analyze native DNA or RNA and sequence any length of fragment to achieve short to ultra-long read lengths. The company is working with public health laboratories around the world, and researchers in related areas, to support the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Ufovax LLC

Founded in early 2018, Ufovax, a spin-off vaccine company from Scripps Research, La Jolla, CA, employs patented single-component self-assembling protein nanoparticle (1c-SApNP) platform technology to develop and commercialize B-cell focused, rapid antibody-eliciting, preventive vaccines for the most challenging diseases around the world.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies are the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity, and healing hopelessness with heart. AdVac is a technology based on the development and production of adenovirus vectors (gene carriers). It can be used together with PER.C6 technology to develop recombinant vaccines against life-threatening infectious diseases.

The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland has been commissioned to fast-track a vaccine to help control the new coronavirus outbreak as concern mounts over its potential spread. The vaccine has been developed using the molecular clamp technology, locks the spike protein into a shape which allows the immune system to be able to recognize and then neutralize the virus.


GeoVax, Inc.

GeoVax is a clinical-stage biotech company committed to developing safe and effective vaccines and immunotherapies against cancers and infectious diseases. Our development programs are based upon a novel platform that integrates our recombinant Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vector technology with advanced antigen design and state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. GeoVax’s current development programs are focused on preventive vaccines against COVID-19, HIV, Zika, hemorrhagic fever viruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg, and Lassa), and malaria, as well as therapeutic vaccines against chronic Hepatitis B infections and multiple cancers.

Bioavanta LLC / Bosti Trading LTD

The Bioavanta development team has been working together in the Novosibirsk Academgorodok for about 15 years. Over the years, a fairly large number of developments have been completed. Bioavanta-Bosti, a leader in chitosan nanoparticles research, announced the release of Novochizol unique polysaccharide nanotechnology which can be used to encapsulate any active pharmaceutical ingredient for localized delivery and sustained release in any tissue or organ. Bioavanta-Bosti has just completed the development of a 48-hour Novochizol TM- based manufacturing process to generate intra-pulmonary drug delivery formulations suitable for treating COVID-19 patients.

Mologic Ltd.

Mologic is a leading developer of lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies, products, and services in human healthcare, agriculture, and aquaculture established in 2003. The company disclosed today that work is well underway on a new diagnostic manufacturing facility adjacent to the firm’s current laboratory in Bedfordshire, UK. The first products to be manufactured in the facility will be rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19, as part of Mologic’s commitment to support the global pandemic response. Mologic test kits are currently undergoing manufacture and optimization and will be available after rigorous validation tests.

SureScreen Diagnostics Ltd.

Established in 1996, SureScreen have been providing proactive, bespoke diagnostic solutions to organizations just like yours for nearly 25 years. SureScreen's COVID-19 rapid test identifies the body's response to coronavirus after the onset of infection, and gives a qualitative yes/no result within 10 minutes. Implementing rapid screening for COVID-19 has huge time and cost savings when compared to laboratory screening, and will help to control the spread of the virus by identifying infection rapidly and accurately. This test is CE marked for Professional use only.


Entos Pharmaceuticals (Entos)

Entos is a healthcare biotechnology company that develops next generation nucleic acid medicines using the Fusogenix drug delivery platform. Fusogenix is a proteo-lipid vehicle (PLV) formulation that uses a novel mechanism of action to deliver molecules, intact and unmodified, directly into the cytosol of target cells. The technology is applicable to a wide range of therapeutic types including gene therapy, mRNA, miRNA, RNAi, CRISPR and small molecule drugs.



Medicago, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Quebec City, is using its Virus Like Particle (VLP) technology platform to develop antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in collaboration with the Laval University’s Infectious Disease Research Centre. Medicago could rapidly produce an antiEbola monoclonal antibody cocktail for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Production of the VLP is the first step in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 which will now undergo preclinical testing for safety and efficacy. Once this is completed, Medicago expects to discuss with the appropriate Health Agencies to initiate human trials of the vaccine by summer (July/August) 2020.


Arcturus Therapeutics

Founded in 2013 and based in San Diego, California, Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: ARCT) is an RNA medicines company with enabling technologies – LUNAR® lipid-mediated delivery, Unlocked Nucleomonomer Analog (UNA) chemistry, STARR™ Technology – and mRNA drug substance along with drug product manufacturing. Arcturus’ diverse pipeline of RNA therapeutics includes programs to potentially treat Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) Deficiency, Cystic Fibrosis, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Glycogen Storage Disease Type 3, Hepatitis B, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Arcturus’ versatile RNA therapeutics platforms can be applied toward multiple types of nucleic acid medicines including messenger RNA, small interfering RNA, replicon RNA, antisense RNA, microRNA, DNA, and gene editing therapeutics. Arcturus’ technologies are covered by its extensive patent portfolio (182 patents and patent applications, issued in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China, and other countries).


Northwestern's Simpson Querrey Institute (SQI)

The Simpson Querrey Institute (SQI) was founded in 2000 to develop bionanotechnology research and expertise at Northwestern University. A gift from the Querrey Simpson Charitable Foundation made in 2014 provides an endowment that supports the growth and development of new research initiatives at SQI. Researchers in SQI have been working over the past two years on a platform to deliver peptide drugs. The similar chemistry of the drug and the carrier allows the scientists to design nanostructures that protect the peptide drug while it circulates in the body before it encounters the culprit of the disease, the novel coronavirus.


Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp.

Tonix is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing small molecules and biologics to treat pain, addiction and psychiatric conditions. TNX-801 (live horsepox virus vaccine for percutaneous administration) and TNX-1200 (live vaccinia virus vaccine for percutaneous administration) are vaccines to protect against smallpox and monkeypox. TNX-1800 is in development as a potential vaccine to protect against the new coronavirus, COVID-19. TNX-1800 is being developed by Tonix Pharmaceuticals in a strategic collaboration with Southern Research to support the development of a vaccine to protect against the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19.


Mediphage Research Group, University of Waterloo

The Mediphage Research Group is located in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo. They are associated with the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology (WIN) and the Centre for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. The bacteriophage PY54 Tel/pal recombinase system developed by the research group has been exploited as a novel platform for the efficient production of linear covalently closed (LCC) DNA minivectors, termed DNA ministrings, to serve as safe and effective DNA delivery vectors.