Carbon-based nanomaterials: promising antiviral agents to combat COVID-19 in the microbial-resistant era

Yogendra Kumar Mishra, Ángel Serrano-Aroca, Kazuo Takayama, Alberto Tuñón-Molina, Murat Seyran, Sk Sarif Hassan, Pabitra Pal Choudhury, Vladimir N Uversky, Kenneth Lundstrom, Parise Adadi, Giorgio Palu, Alaa A A Aljabali, Gaurav Chauhan, Ramesh Kandimalla, Murtaza M Tambuwala, Amos Lal, Tarek Mohamed Abd El-Aziz, Samendra P Sherchan, Debmalya Barh, Elrashdy M RedwanNicolas G Bazan, Bruce D Uhal, Adam M Brufsky

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Therapeutic options for the highly pathogenic human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing the current pandemic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are urgently needed. COVID-19 is associated with viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome causing significant morbidity and mortality. The proposed treatments for COVID-19 have shown little or no effect in the clinic so far. Additionally, bacterial and fungal pathogens contribute to the SARS-CoV-2-mediated pneumonia disease complex. The antibiotic resistance in pneumonia treatment is increasing at an alarming rate. Therefore, carbon-based nanomaterials (CBNs), such as fullerene, carbon dots, graphene, and their derivatives constitute a promising alternative due to their wide-spectrum antimicrobial activity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and capacity to induce tissue regeneration. Furthermore, the antimicrobial mode of action is mainly physical (e.g., membrane distortion), characterized by a low risk of antimicrobial resistance. In this Review, we evaluated the literature on the antiviral activity and broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties of CBNs. CBNs had antiviral activity against 13 enveloped positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. CBNs with low or no toxicity to humans are promising therapeutics against the COVID-19 pneumonia complex with other viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including those that are multidrug-resistant.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Nano
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)8069-8086
Publication statusPublished - 25. May 2021


  • Antiviral Agents/pharmacology
  • COVID-19
  • Carbon
  • Humans
  • Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy
  • SARS-CoV-2


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