Chinese researchers have recently developed a nanomaterial that targets the spike protein of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Delta and Omicron, and promotes viral elimination.
The research published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology revealed an ultrathin two-dimensional compound nanosheet made of Cuprum, Indium, Phosphorus and Sulfur (CIPS) as a new agent combating SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The researchers from the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, the Institute of High Energy Physics under the CAS, and the Kunming Institute of Zoology under the CAS developed the nanomaterial and its anti-viral mechanism.
According to the study, CIPS exhibits an extremely high and selective binding capacity for the receptor binding domain of the spike protein of wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, such as Delta and Omicron.
Testing shows that when associated with CIPS, the virus is quickly eliminated by the host's macrophages, suggesting CIPS could be used to capture the virus and facilitate virus elimination by the host.
Testing also shows that CIPS can inhibit viral entry and infection in cells, organoids and mice, and effectively relieve lung inflammation in mice caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The study demonstrates the potential of CIPS as a nanodrug for safe and effective therapy to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection, and as a decontamination agent and surface-coating material to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infectivity.