Nanotechnology, the Noble Prize winning tech, can it offer something for the Global War against , COVID-19?

Its not an Avengers Movie Indeed, but the global threat lies on head of whole humanity and Nano tech, is indeed not a science fiction .
But before going further deep . let’s see what nano-tech is….

What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nano scale, which is about 1 to 100 nano meters.

Physicist Richard Feynman, the father of nanotechnology.

Nano science and nanotechnology are the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering.

NANOTECHNOLOGY IN BATTLE AGAINST CORONA VIRUS

The rapidly increasing death tolls of COVID-19 have been a wake-up call for global health. Many researchers have recently turned their focus to this growing threat and a global effort is underway to halt its spread. Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment available for COVID-19, but a wide range of pharmaceutical agents are being investigated. Meanwhile, among various fields of science and technology, nanotechnology has great potential to be of enormous help in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19.

At the prevention stage, nano fiber-based facial respirators, along with nanotechnology-enabled highly effective antimicrobial and antiviral disinfectants, have been the first personal protective means that can prevent the spread of the virus; furthermore, extensive research is underway to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 based on different nano materials. In diagnostics, nanotechnology has shown considerable promise in designing sensors for developing quick-response COVID-19 tests. Last but not least, at the treatment phase, nano medicines have been at the center of many researchers’ attention, some of which are currently being studied in clinical trials. Hence, nano technologists are carrying out their social responsibility to tackle the ongoing global health emergency.

Virus Capture and Destruction by Label-Free Graphene Oxide for Detection and Disinfection Applications

Currently the most widely used chemical disinfection protocols, halogenated disinfection or solvent/detergent strategies, suffer from a variety of limitations for suppression of environmental virus, such as the production of toxic by products as well as the low disinfect efficiency.Within this context, it is in urgent need to develop a novel strategy to guard against the environmental virus with high efficiency,low cost and minimized contamination.We are especially intrigued by the naturally occurring minerals that possess unique structure, facilitate large-scale production and affect the biological responses of viruses.

As known, nature derived graphene oxide (GO) nano materials is a promising chemical platform for various biomedical applications including protein adsorption,bacterial disinfection,bio reduction,and biosensors.It is worthy of note that GO based materials exhibits a physical toxicity associated with the interaction with cells or tissues. For instances, GO can destruct bacterial membranes by direct inorganic-bio molecule interactions;the attached proteins on GO always result in altering intrinsic structures and denature effects. Moreover, the interplay between GO and microbes have been demonstrated, attributing to the bio reduction of the oxygen-containing functionalities via bacterial respiration.Considering the versatile GO-bio-molecule interactions, we postulate that GO materials could potentially serve as a novel and promising candidate for virus prevention.

Graphene as the Virus Detector

Graphene sheet(Top:Left)

Graphene or GO particles can actually be used as the virus detectors or as the virus sensors since,The large surface area and good electrical conductivity of graphene allow it to act as an “electron wire” between the redox centers of an enzyme or protein and an electrode׳s surface, which make it a very excellent material for the design of electrochemical biosensors. Graphene promotes the different rapid electron transfers that facilitate accurate and selective detection of cytochrome-c, β-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, haemoglobin, biomolecules such as glucose, cholesterol, ascorbic acid, uric acid, dopamine and hydrogen peroxide.

Graphene can be used to detect the protein shell found in the coronaviruses, which could be really faster and feasible approach in diagnoses of the patients and to reduce the spread .

Conclusion

The world is at war indeed and if we don’t work together with all out potential then this pandemic could actually be the sign of “The Great Filter”.

Nanotechnology has recently come out from labs as experiments to products as an application and as the research continues the further we will know about its properties.

A very Big Thanks and Shout out to all the Medical Staffs and people who are putting their lives at risks to fight this WAR. You guys are the Real AVENGERS!
Stay at home , Stay Safe Everyone

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Aayushi Vaish

An Explorer of the Infinite Multiverse . MS - Physics , Northeastern University.