Researchers believe that the utilization of nanotechnology and nanomaterials can play a vital role in combating the current pandemic. Previous studies have reported that nanoparticles such as liposomes, emulsions, micelles-based nanocarriers, carbon‐based and 2D materials can be effectively used as antiviral drug delivery platforms. Researchers believe that owing to the extremely large surface area, 2D nanomaterials can serve as select carriers for antiviral drug delivery systems. Among all 2-dimensional materials, graphene oxide (GO) is the most explored material in biomedical research.
Earlier studies have revealed GO’s broad‐spectrum antiviral activity. A new study has combined in silico and in vitro analysis to examine if GO sheets have an inhibitory effect against SARS‐CoV‐2 surface proteins. The current study has shown that GO has an affinity towards the S protein, ACE2 receptors, and the spike‐ACE2 complex. Researchers found that GO strongly interacts with the viral spike (6VYB or 6VXX) and the ACE2 (1R42) before attaching with the virus ligand. Thereby having a high affinity for the surface of all three structures (namely 6M0J, 6VYB, and 6VXX). Hence, GO can minimize SARS‐CoV‐2 infectivity in three out of four viral clades tested in this study.
The difference in the rate of inhibition among viral clades may be because of the genetic mutations of the viruses. Researchers believe that the findings of the current study highlight the importance of studying genotypic mutations, the number of which will subsequently increase in the future. Therefore, more research on the effect of nanomaterials against SARS‐CoV‐2 variants is crucial. The present study strongly recommends GO as a potential material that can be used in manufacturing sophisticated protective gear such as PPE and face masks, which could capture and neutralize viral particles. GO could also act as an effective antiviral drug delivery platform.
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