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Modern Approaches in Drug Designing

Combating COVID-19: Exploiting the Viral Physical Properties

Rania M Hathout*

Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

*Corresponding author: Rania M Hathout, Department of Pharmaceutics and Industrial Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ain Shams University, African Union Organization St.,11566 Cairo, Egypt, Tel: +2 (0) 100 5254919,

Submission: September 29, 2020;Published: October 16, 2020

DOI: 10.31031/MADD.2020.03.000557

ISSN: 2576-9170
Volume3 Issue2


The war against COVID-19 pandemic is continuing. All the scientific disciplines are uniting in order to protect the whole humanity against the causing virus; the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2). The physical approaches such as the electrostatic can provide us with a new weapon in this tough war through exploiting the repulsive properties of positively charged biocompatible polymers.

Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Corona; Virus; Physical; Polymers; Positive


Since the beginning of the year 2020, the world is having a serious battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Many pharmacological and chemical approaches have been considered since then in order to combat the disease Lu [1] including the use of drugs such as hydroxychoroquine, azithromycin, lactoferrin, zinc salts, favipravir, remedesivir, interferonalpha 2B and dexamethasone has been considered and evaluated Barnard et al. [2], Haeger et al. [3]; Wang et al. [4]; Colson et al. [5]; Gautret et al. [6]; Yang et al. [7] and Hathout et al. [8]. The main mechanisms of action of these drugs lie on the chemical interaction between these molecules and certain biological receptors whether on the human respiratory tract or on the virus on one hand or rather reducing the immune responses to prevent the lethal cytokines storm caused at the latter stages of the disease Jia et al. [9]; Inoue et al. [10]; Lang et al. [11]; Milewska et al. [12]; Kaushik et al. [13] and Quiros Roldan et al. [14]. Several vaccines are also currently being experimented and some of them have reached phase III trials. These approaches are warranted and may lead to permanent combating of the disease (and may not). However, there is paucity in dealing with the virus as regards to its physical and physicochemical properties though these characteristics might give us a clue or a key for prophylaxis or at the best, decreasing the viral load that susceptible subjects may face.

The corona virus is a particle that holds a particle diameter of an average of 80nm Kim et al. [15]. This renders this particle as a nanoparticulate system and actually a colloidal particle that should possess a zeta potential and undergoes Brownian movement while suspended in its beholding droplets Fagir et al. [16]. In this context, it was actually proven that the corona viral capsid and some of its motifs carry a positive zeta potential Belyi et al. [17]; Hu et al. [18] and Forrey et al. [19]. Exploiting this finding could lead us to important pathways in combating the virus. For example, biocompatible (regarded as a very important criteria Hathout et al. [20] positively charged polymers such as the chitosan (Farid et al. [21] and Abdelhamid et al. [22] (and its derivatives such as the quaternized chitosan), gelatin A Shokry et al. [23]; Hathout et al. [24]; Ossama et al. [25] and polypyrrole Shah et al. [26] can be used to prepare nano-systems ; nanoparticles or nanofibers. These nano-systems can be incorporated or embedded in the fabrics of clothes and the prevention tools of the health care providers. The presence of these incorporated nano-sized positively charged systems would help in repelling the virus (like charges) and hence prevent it from depositing on the clothes and tools surfaces Hathout RM et al. [27].

In another encounter, these nano-sized systems (specifically, the naturally-driven ones; chitosan and gelatin) could be incorporated in different pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical preparations that are administered topically such as: the gels, the toothpastes the mouth gargles and the nasal drops in order to block the viral entry to the respiratory tract through the mouth and the nose orifices.


To sum up, the physical (electrical) approaches can provide us with a novel solution rendering the virus less infective and less damaging.


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© 2020 Rania M Hathout. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.