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Research Article

Nanostructured biohybrid material with wide-ranging antiviral action

Noelia Losada-Garcia1Angela Vazquez-Calvo2David Ortega-Alarcon3Olga Abian3,4,5Adrian Velazquez-Campoy3,4,5Pilar Domingo-Calap6Antonio Alcami2Jose M. Palomo1( )
Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica (ICP), CSIC, C/Marie Curie 2. Madrid 28049, Spain
Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)-Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Madrid 28049, Spain
Institute of Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems (BIFI), Joint Unit GBsC-CSIC-BIFI, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza 50018, Spain
Fundación Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Aragón (IIS Aragón), Zaragoza 50009, Spain
CIBERehd, Madrid 28029, Spain
Instituto de Biología Integrativa de Sistemas, I2SyBio, Universitat de València-CSIC, València E-46071, Spain
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Graphical Abstract

A nanostructured material made of copper nanoparticles, manufactured utilizing a new biohybrid technology that incorporates a biological agent in its formation, has demonstrated high efficacy against several viruses including coronaviruses, Human Rhinovirus (HRV-14), and bacteriophages.


Respiratory pathogens kill more people than any other infectious agent each year worldwide. Development of novel, economically friendly, sustainable, and highly efficient materials against viruses is a major challenge. Herein, we describe a nanostructured material composed of very small crystalline phosphate copper nanoparticles synthesized using a new biohybrid technology that employs a biological agent for its formation at room temperature in aqueous media. The evaluation of different enzymes in the final preparation of the nanomaterial or even in synthetic methods was performed. Biochemical characterization revealed the formation of Cu species in the protein network. The best biomaterial synthesized using a lipase called BioCuNPs showed excellent inhibition capacity against functional proteins of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); for example, assent 3-chymotrypsin like protease (3CLpro) complete inhibition was achieved by using 5 µg/mL, or acetone (ACE)–spike protein interaction was inhibited by more than 80% in the presence of 400 µg/mL of BioCuNPs. Taking these in vitro results into account, an efficacy analysis against human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-E229) coronavirus was performed. A virus reduction of 99% was obtained in 5 min. Additionally, SARS-CoV-2 virus was tested to demonstrate high efficiency, with > 99% inhibition in 15 min using 500 microgram of material. To determine the wide applicability of this nanohybrid against viruses, an evaluation was carried out against a non-enveloped virus such as Human Rhinovirus (HRV-14), obtaining a virus reduction of 99.9% in 5 min. Finally, the virucidal capacity against different bacteriophages was also evaluated, obtaining an excellent inhibition effect against Phage ΦX174 (99.999% reduction in 5 min).

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Nano Research
Pages 11455-11463
Cite this article:
Losada-Garcia N, Vazquez-Calvo A, Ortega-Alarcon D, et al. Nanostructured biohybrid material with wide-ranging antiviral action. Nano Research, 2023, 16(8): 11455-11463.






Web of Science






Received: 06 March 2023
Revised: 19 April 2023
Accepted: 20 April 2023
Published: 22 June 2023
© Tsinghua University Press 2023