Carbon-Based Nanomaterials: Promising Antiviral Agents to Combat COVID-19 in the Microbial-Resistant Era

Ángel Serrano-aroca, Kazuo Takayama, Alberto Tuñón-molina, Murat Seyran, Sk. Sarif Hassan, Pabitra Pal Choudhury, Vladimir N. Uversky, Kenneth Lundstrom, Parise Adadi, Giorgio Palù, Alaa A. A. Aljabali, Gaurav Chauhan, Ramesh Kandimalla, Murtaza M. Tambuwala, Amos Lal, Tarek Mohamed Abd El-aziz, Samendra Sherchan, Debmalya Barh, Elrashdy M. Redwan, Nicolas G. BazanYogendra Kumar Mishra, Bruce D. Uhal, Adam Brufsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)
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Therapeutic options for the highly pathogenic human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing the current pandemic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are urgently needed. COVID-19 is associated with viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome causing significant morbidity and mortality. The proposed treatments for COVID-19 have shown little or no effect in the clinic so far. Additionally, bacterial and fungal pathogens contribute to the SARS-CoV-2-mediated pneumonia disease complex. The antibiotic resistance in pneumonia treatment is increasing at an alarming rate. Therefore, carbon-based nanomaterials (CBNs), such as fullerene, carbon dots, graphene, and their derivatives constitute a promising alternative due to their wide-spectrum antimicrobial activity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and capacity to induce tissue regeneration. Furthermore, the antimicrobial mode of action is mainly physical (e.g., membrane distortion), characterized by a low risk of antimicrobial resistance. In this Review, we evaluated the literature on the antiviral activity and broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties of CBNs. CBNs had antiviral activity against 13 enveloped positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. CBNs with low or no toxicity to humans are promising therapeutics against the COVID-19 pneumonia complex with other viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including those that are multidrug-resistant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8069-8086
Number of pages18
JournalACS Nano
Early online date7 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 7 Apr 2021


  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • COVID-19
  • carbon-based nanomaterials
  • carbon dots
  • tissue regeneration
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • antiviral properties
  • pneumonia
  • fullerene
  • graphene
  • Humans
  • Carbon
  • Antiviral Agents/pharmacology
  • Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy


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