Layer-by-layer nanocoating of antiviral polysaccharides on surfaces to prevent coronavirus infections
Otto, Daniel P.
De Villiers, Melgardt M.
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In 2020, the world is being ravaged by the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes a severe respiratory disease, Covid-19. Hundreds of thousands of people have succumbed to the disease. Efforts at curing the disease are aimed at finding a vaccine and/or developing antiviral drugs. Despite these efforts, the WHO warned that the virus might never be eradicated. Countries around the world have instated non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing and wearing of masks in public to curb the spreading of the disease. Antiviral polysaccharides provide the ideal opportunity to combat the pathogen via pharmacotherapeutic applications. However, a layer-by-layer nanocoating approach is also envisioned to coat surfaces to which humans are exposed that could harbor pathogenic coronaviruses. By coating masks, clothing, and work surfaces in wet markets among others, these antiviral polysaccharides can ensure passive prevention of the spreading of the virus. It poses a so-called “eradicate-in-place” measure against the virus. Antiviral polysaccharides also provide a green chemistry pathway to virus eradication since these molecules are primarily of biological origin and can be modified by minimal synthetic approaches. They are biocompatible as well as biodegradable. This surface passivation approach could provide a powerful measure against the spreading of coronaviruses