(STUDY FINDS) -- BOSTON – In an effort to find a cure for the coronavirus pandemic, researchers at Boston University have developed a way to fight not only SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19), but also virtually any virus in the human body. Their new technology uses tiny bits of biofriendly plastics wrapped in cell membranes to create what are essentially fake “decoy” cells. These fake cells, which the researchers dub “nanosponges,” attract SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, diverting the virus away from real cells.
In the study, published in Nano Letters, researchers created the nanosponges using lung cell membranes, since the SARS-CoV-2 virus attacks lung cells. The nanosponge cell membranes have the same characteristics as normal lung cell membranes, which allows the virus to attach to the nanosponges. The main difference between a nanosponge and a real cell is what’s inside: the fake cells lack any normal internal cellular machinery.