Biomaterials and Nanotechnology for Drug and Vaccine Development
B.S. University of California, Berkeley (Biomedical Engineering)
Ph.D. University of California, San Diego (Bioengineering)
The COVID-19 pandemic's high mortality rate and severe socioeconomic impact serve as a reminder of the urgent need for effective countermeasures against viral pandemic threats. In particular, effective antiviral therapeutics capable of stopping infections in its tracks is critical to reducing infection fatality rate and healthcare burden. With the field of drug delivery witnessing tremendous advancement in the last two decades owing to a panoply of nanotechnology advances, the present review summarizes and expounds on the research and development of therapeutic nanoformulations against various infectious viral pathogens, including HIV, influenza, and coronaviruses. Specifically, nanotechnology advances towards improving pathogen- and host-targeted antiviral drug delivery are reviewed, and the prospect of achieving effective viral eradication, broad-spectrum antiviral effect, and resisting viral mutations are discussed. As several COVID-19 antiviral clinical trials are met with lackluster treatment efficacy, nanocarrier strategies aimed at improving drug pharmacokinetics, biodistributions, and synergism are expected to not only contribute to the current disease treatment efforts but also expand the antiviral arsenal against other emerging viral diseases.