Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
nnm-2020-0286.pdf (6.61 MB)

No small matter: a perspective on nanotechnology-enabled solutions to fight COVID-19

Download (6.61 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-02, 08:25 authored by Georgia Wilson Jones, Marco MonopoliMarco Monopoli, Luisa Campagnolo, Antonio Pietroiusti, Lang Tran, Bengt Fadeel

There is an urgent need for safe and effective approaches to combat COVID-19. Here, we asked whether lessons learned from nanotoxicology and nanomedicine could shed light on the current pandemic. SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent, may trigger a mild, self-limiting disease with respiratory symptoms, but patients may also succumb to a life-threatening systemic disease. The host response to the virus is equally complex and studies are now beginning to unravel the immunological correlates of COVID-19. Nanotechnology can be applied for the delivery of antiviral drugs or other repurposed drugs. Moreover, recent work has shown that synthetic nanoparticles wrapped with host-derived cellular membranes may prevent virus infection. We posit that nanoparticles decorated with ACE2, the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, could be exploited as decoys to intercept the virus before it infects cells in the respiratory tract. However, close attention should be paid to biocompatibility before such nano-decoys are deployed in the clinic. 


European Commission through H2020-BIORIMA (grant agreement no. 760928)



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Jones GW, Monopoli MP, Campagnolo L, Pietroiusti A, Tran L, Fadeel B. No small matter: a perspective on nanotechnology-enabled solutions to fight COVID-19. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2020;15(24):2411-2427.

Publication Date

2 September 2020

PubMed ID



  • Chemistry


Future Medicine Ltd


  • Published Version (Version of Record)