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Silver nanoparticles as a potential treatment against SARS‐CoV‐2: A review

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Abstract Several human coronaviruses (HCoVs) are distinguished by the ability to generate epidemics or pandemics, with their corresponding diseases characterized by severe respiratory illness, such as that which occurs in severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS‐CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS‐CoV), and, today, in SARS‐CoV‐2, an outbreak that has struck explosively and uncontrollably beginning in December 2019 and has claimed the lives of more than 1.9 M people worldwide as of January 2021. The development of vaccines has taken one year, which is why it is necessary to investigate whether some already‐existing alternatives that have been successfully developed in recent years can mitigate the pandemic's advance. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have proved effective in antiviral action. Thus, in this review, several in vitro and in vivo studies of the effect of AgNPs on viruses that cause respiratory diseases are analyzed and discussed to promote an understanding of the possible interaction of AgNPs with SARS‐CoV‐2. The study focuses on several in vivo toxicological studies of AgNPs and a dose extrapolation to humans to determine the chief avenue of exposure. It can be concluded that the use of AgNPs as a possible treatment for SARS‐CoV‐2 could be viable, based on comparing the virus' behavior to that of similar viruses in in vivo studies, and that the suggested route of administration in terms of least degree of adverse effects is inhalation. This article is categorized under: Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Respiratory Disease Toxicology and Regulatory Issues in Nanomedicine > Toxicology of Nanomaterials
Possible mechanisms of the use of nanotechnology through nanobubbles, nanofibers, nanotraps, nanorobots, nanopolymers, nanodiamonds, and nanotransporters of biomolecules and drugs with antiviral action
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Mechanism of AgNPs' antiviral effect on different stages of virus replication: (1) interaction with viral surface, (2) interference with viral attachment, (3) inhibition of virus penetration into the cell, (4) interaction with viral genome, (5) inhibition of genome replication, (6) inhibition of protein synthesis
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Toxicology and Regulatory Issues in Nanomedicine > Toxicology of Nanomaterials
Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Respiratory Disease
Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology

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