Exploiting the antiviral potential of intermetallic nanoparticles
Matharu, Rupy Kaur
Cheong, Yuen Ki
Viral pandemic outbreaks cause a significant burden on global health as well as healthcare expenditure. The use of antiviral agents not only reduces the spread of viral pathogens but also diminishes the likelihood of them causing infection. The antiviral properties of novel copper-silver and copper-zinc intermetallic nanoparticles against Escherichia coli bacteriophage MS2 (RNA virus) and Escherichia coli bacteriophage T4 (DNA virus) are presented. The intermetallic nanoparticles were spherical in shape and were between 90 and 120 nm. Antiviral activity was assessed at concentrations ranging from 0.05 to 2.0 wt/v% for 3 and 24 h using DNA and RNA virus model organisms. Both types of nanoparticles demonstrated strong potency towards RNA viruses (> 89% viral reduction), whilst copper-silver nanoparticles were slightly more toxic towards DNA viruses when compared to copper-zinc nanoparticles. Both nanoparticles were then incorporated into polymeric fibres (carrier) to investigate their antiviral effectiveness when composited into polymeric matrices. Fibres containing copper-silver nanoparticles exhibited favourable antiviral properties, with a viral reduction of 75% after 3 h of exposure. The excellent antiviral properties of the intermetallic nanoparticles reported in this study against both types of viruses together with their unique material properties can make them significant alternatives to conventional antiviral therapies and decontamination agents.