COVID-19 pandemic : What about the safety of anti-coronavirus nanoparticles?

Dina A. Mosselhy*, Jenni Virtanen, Ravi Kant, Wei He, Mady Elbahri, Tarja Sironen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)


Every day, new information is presented with respect to how to best combat the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This manuscript sheds light on such recent findings, including new co-factors (i.e., neuropilin-1) and routes (i.e., olfactory transmucosal) allowing cell entry of SARS-CoV-2 and induction of neurological symptoms, as well as the new SARS-CoV-2 variants. We highlight the SARS-CoV-2 human–animal interfaces and elaborate containment strategies using the same vaccination (i.e., nanoparticle “NP” formulations of the BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 vaccines) for humans, minks, raccoon dogs, cats, and zoo animals. We investigate the toxicity issues of anti-CoV NPs (i.e., plasmonic NPs and quantum dots) on different levels. Namely, nano–bio interfaces (i.e., protein corona), in vitro (i.e., lung cells) and in vivo (i.e., zebrafish embryos) assessments, and impacts on humans are discussed in a narrative supported by original figures. Ultimately, we express our skeptical opinion on the comprehensive administration of such antiviral nanotheranostics, even when integrated into facemasks, because of their reported toxicities and the different NP parameters (e.g., size, shape, surface charge, and purity and chemical composition of NPs) that govern their end toxicity. We believe that more toxicity studies should be performed and be presented, clarifying the odds of the safe administration of nanotoxocological solutions and the relief of a worried public.

Original languageEnglish
Article number796
Number of pages24
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Human–animal interfaces
  • Lung cell lines
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanotoxicology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Skeptical opinion
  • Zebrafish


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