The COVID-19 epidemic has increased the global need for better diagnosis and treatment, as well as infection prevention and control, all through large-scale techniques such as unique alternative antiviral treatments and traditional disinfection protocols.
Nanotechnology, which is based on an abundance of designed materials distinguishable by their beneficial physicochemical features via flexible chemical functionalization, provides a number of methods to deal with this problem.
Covid-19 and Nanotechnology
Viruses have evolved a variety of molecular mechanisms for entering cells, long-term survival within cells, and activation, inhibition, or modification of host defense systems throughout millions of years.
Researchers in Nanomedicine have developed a variety of Nanosystems that can mimic the gene-transfer capacity and high infectivity of viral vectors.
By understanding the molecular mechanisms behind these vectors, Nanomedicine and biomedical researchers have developed delivery techniques used in a number of fields, including cancer therapy and regenerative medicine.
The material is one of the thinnest antimicrobial coatings yet produced, and it is effective against a wide spectrum of drug-resistant bacteria and fungus cells while causing no damage to human cells.
Antibiotic resistance is a serious worldwide health problem that kills at least 700,000 people each year.
While the health impact of fungal infections is underappreciated, they kill around 1.5 million people worldwide each year, and the death toll is rising.
A common fungus, Aspergillus, which may cause fatal secondary infections, is an increasing danger to hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
Viral infections are a primary cause of illness and mortality globally, as well as a major source of considerable economic losses.
Vaccination and medicines developed from targeting key stages in the viral life cycle are the mainstays of standard treatment methods.
However, many viruses change in response to selection forces, frequently becoming treatment-resistant, necessitating further resources for drug research.
What exactly happened?
They’re around so much in the size of a coronavirus particle and 1000 times smaller than a human hair, but new nanoparticles developed by scientists at the University of South Australia are punching much more than their weight when it comes to treating drug-resistant fungal diseases.
The innovative Nanobiotechnology (dubbed “micelles”) created in conjunction with Monash University has a remarkable ability to battle Candida albicans, one of the most invasive and notoriously resistant fungal diseases.
Micelles are aqueous liquid formations made up of lipid molecules that form spherical shapes.
They have the ability to both attract and repel liquids, making them excellent for drug administration.
Candida albicans is opportunistic pathogenic yeast that is very harmful to persons with weakened immune systems, especially those in hospitals.
Candida albicans, which may be found on a variety of surfaces, is known for their resistance to antifungal medications. It is the most common cause of fungal infections globally, and it may cause serious infections that damage the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones, and other organs.
As a result, infection control procedures have deteriorated, putting mechanically ventilated patients at higher risk of bacterial or fungal infections.
Finding ways to interrupt and destroy the infection cycle is critical, especially given that fungal biofilms are prone to recurrent infections.
Our research discovered and created smart micelles capable of dissolving single and multi-species biofilms and significantly limiting the growth of Candida albicans, one of the most aggressive fungal species.
Professor Clive Prestidge of the University of South Australia, a senior scientist, believes the new polymer-based micelles might revolutionize present antifungal treatments.
Fungal biofilms are surface-loving microbes that flourish on implanted devices such as catheters, prostheses, and heart valves, making their presence a major source of infection.
In areas like India, where over 40,000 new COVID-19 infections occur every day, hospital resources are severely taxed, forcing healthcare personnel to deal with not just COVID-19, but also complacency and tiredness.
However, the unfortunate outcome has been deterioration in infection control procedures, putting patients on mechanical ventilation at a higher risk of getting bacterial or fungal infections.
The new micelles, according to co-investigator Dr. Nicky Thomas, offer a breakthrough in the treatment of invasive fungal infections.
These micelles have an unrivaled ability to solubilize and entrap a wide range of important antifungal medications, significantly increasing their performance and efficacy.
This is the first time that polymer-based micelles with inherent antifungal biofilm-forming capabilities have been developed.
Our findings indicate that the new micelles can eliminate up to 70% of infection, which might be a game-changer in the treatment of fungal infections.
We estimated that the new micelles resulted in boosting the efficacy of antifungal medicines by a factor of 100, potentially saving the lives of millions of people worldwide.