Respiratory Syncytial Virus Inhibition by Gold and Titanium Nanoparticles

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is the leading cause of severe respiratory illnesses including bronchiolitis and pneumonia in young children. The RSV surface proteins F (fusion) and G (attachment) are major targets for vaccine development against RSV, and have also been targeted to develop methods to inhibit RSV infection. Nanoparticles such as gold and titanium have been gaining extensive usage in medicine and therapy. The structural characteristics of nanoparticles and their interactions with surface modifiers are essential to their functions. We hypothesized that the gold and titanium nanoparticles would attach to the proteins on the surface of the RSV virus and block the sites responsible for viral attachment to the cell thus inhibiting RSV infection. To test this hypothesis, we used gold and titanium nanoparticles to study the inhibition of RSV in cell culture. The characteristics of nanoparticles were evaluated by Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Atomic Force Microcopy (AFM) and Energy dispersive X-ray (EDS) analysis. TEM and AFM micrographs of gold and titanium nanaoparticles revealed that they had a size of 30-50nm. TEM pictures reveal gold particles bind on the surface of RSV. The nanoparticles were analyzed for cell toxicity, and were found to have low toxicity in HEp-2 cells. The nanoparticles were then evaluated for their effectiveness of RSV inhibition by microscopic examination for syncytia formation, immunofluorescence microscopy and by estimating viral titers. Our results revealed that gold nanoparticles inhibited RSV infection by 60% as estimated by immunofluroscence assay compared to 30% by titanium nanoparticles. Studies are underway for nanoparticles and RSV surface proteins interactions. Based on these studies nanoparticles seem to be promising candidate for future RSV treatment research in animal models.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2009: Life Sciences, Medicine, Diagnostics, Bio Materials and Composites
Published: May 3, 2009
Pages: 139 - 142
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Medical & Biotech
Topics: Biomaterials, Cancer Nanotechnology
ISBN: 978-1-4398-1783-4