The potential of drug delivery nanosystems to treat COVID-19 Chapter uri icon


  • The current COVID-19 pandemic demands the rapid development of vaccines and the rapid evaluation of drugs to combat SARS-CoV-2. The urgency of the former ended up in the rapid approval of several vaccines under an emergency use. Despite this, for the latter there is still limited information that successfully demonstrates the efficacy of a particular drug against SARS-CoV-2. Therefore this chapter is intended to summarize antiviral drugs with activity against enveloped viruses (including SARS-CoV-2) that have been further evaluated as cargo of DDS (drug delivery systems). To the best of our knowledge, drugs with activity against SARS-CoV-2 have not been evaluated as part of DDS. The activity of some drugs against COVID-19 has been demonstrated with experiments or computational studies. The antiviral drugs presented are chloroquine, ivermectin, lopinavir/ritonavir, ribavirin, and sofosbuvir. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) is also presented since several DDS carrying siRNA have been evaluated against enveloped viruses. Dexamethasone is a special case that is also presented here as antiinflammatory agent since it is currently used in the treatment of COVID-19. The materials used to produce DDS are diverse and include gelatin, poly(l-lactide), poly(lactic acid), poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), liposomes, mesoporous silica, and chitosan.

publication date

  • 2021-01-01