Nanotechnology Responses to COVID-19

Adv Healthc Mater. 2020 Oct;9(19):e2000979. doi: 10.1002/adhm.202000979. Epub 2020 Sep 3.


Researchers, engineers, and medical doctors are made aware of the severity of the COVID-19 infection and act quickly against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 using a large variety of tools. In this review, a panoply of nanoscience and nanotechnology approaches show how these disciplines can help the medical, technical, and scientific communities to fight the pandemic, highlighting the development of nanomaterials for detection, sanitation, therapies, and vaccines. SARS-CoV-2, which can be regarded as a functional core-shell nanoparticle (NP), can interact with diverse materials in its vicinity and remains attached for variable times while preserving its bioactivity. These studies are critical for the appropriate use of controlled disinfection systems. Other nanotechnological approaches are also decisive for the development of improved novel testing and diagnosis kits of coronavirus that are urgently required. Therapeutics are based on nanotechnology strategies as well and focus on antiviral drug design and on new nanoarchitectured vaccines. A brief overview on patented work is presented that emphasizes nanotechnology applied to coronaviruses. Finally, some comments are made on patents of the initial technological responses to COVID-19 that have already been put in practice.

Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; diagnosis; nanomaterials; nanotechnology; treatment; vaccines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage
  • Betacoronavirus* / chemistry
  • Betacoronavirus* / ultrastructure
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / methods
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections* / prevention & control
  • Coronavirus Infections* / therapy
  • Disinfection / methods
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanoparticles / ultrastructure
  • Nanostructures / chemistry
  • Nanotechnology / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Nanotechnology / methods*
  • Pandemics* / prevention & control
  • Patents as Topic
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / therapy
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Surface Properties
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage


  • Antiviral Agents
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Viral Vaccines