The engineering of drug loaded nanospheres as a first line of defence against COVID-19

Ali Taha Ozdemir, Laurence Fitzhenry, Orla O'Donoghue, Gerald Barry

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Since the beginning of the pandemic, the COVID-19 has claimed millions of lives and continues to threaten many. Economically, it is currently driving many countries into a recession and millions of people have become unemployed. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19, and it is primarily transmitted when people breathe in air contaminated by respiratory droplets and small airborne particles. Corona viruses consists of crown-like protrusions on its surface called ‘Corona’, meaning crown in Latin. These extensions are spike proteins and play an important role during the infection. SARS-CoV-2 uses these structures to attach itself to the host cell, in turn leading to entry into the host human cell leading to COVID-19 Disease. My PhD project aims to develop engineered nanodecoys in the form of ‘nanospheres’. When delivered to the respiratory system, nanodecoys will release a molecule called an enzyme inhibitor, while binding to and neutralizing coronavirus, in a way that will preventing its attachment to cells in our respiratory system. When loaded with potential antiviral drugs (TMPRSS2), nanodecoys can also deliver therapeutics directly to the lungs. With the aid of nanodecoy therapy, the immune system will have a better chance to clear the virus and repair the damaged tissue. Creating this window of opportunity is especially important because old people with reduced immune capacity and healthcare professionals in contact with the virus for longer periods of time are at higher risk for serious infection. As such, giving the immune system this b extra assistance could reduce the severity of the infection and potentially reduce fatalities
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
Publication statusUnpublished - 31 May 2023
EventPostgraduate Research Conference 2023 - Carlow, Ireland
Duration: 31 May 202331 May 2023


ConferencePostgraduate Research Conference 2023


  • SARS-CoV-2
  • CODIV-19
  • Nanocarrier
  • Nano-decoy
  • Engineered particles


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