(571a) Silver-Encapsulated Virus-Imprinted Submicrometer Particles As Potential Antiviral Therapeutics

Tong, Y. W. - Presenter, National University of Singapore
Sankarakumar, N., National University of Singapore

Virus transmitted diseases are one of the major global health challenges, especially in view of the fact that the existing antiviral therapeutics lose their effectiveness with time or due to viral mutations and lead to toxic side effects with prolonged usage. Hence there is an urgent need for the development of effective and safe alternatives to conventional antiviral drugs. In response to this, a novel approach of using high affinity polymeric receptors prepared by a molecular imprinting technique to “catch” viruses was proposed.

Molecular imprinting is a simple and promising technique that aids in replicating the recognition property of natural molecules like antibodies. This technique involves the creation of imprinted or recognition sites within a polymer matrix through the specific assembly of monomers around the template-to-be imprinted. Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) can be tailored to have a wide range of chemical functionalities and mechanical properties and have been commercially useful in many applications such as separation and purification, analytical chemistry and sensing. In this research, we are following up on our recent work using MIP nanoparticles imprinted with viruses that have been shown to hinder viral infections with a novel virus-deactivation methodology through the encapsulation of silver nanoparticles.

A simple bacteriophage was used as the model virus in this study. Dodecanethiol (DDT) capped silver (Ag) nanoparticles were synthesized through a reduction reaction. The Ag-DDT nanoparticles were encapsulated in a first stage of miniemulsion polymerization to prepare Ag-DDT encapsulated core particles. Subsequently, surface modifications to immobilize the virus and imprinting shell layer synthesis were performed to prepare the Ag-DDT core-shell virus imprinted nanoparticles (Ag-viMIPs). The Ag-viMIPs showed positive anti-viral effect that significantly hindered phage infection of host bacteria as compared to the controls. The nanosilver encapsulation did not affect the host cell growth and viability and the AgviMIPs and viMIPs (particles without Ag) displayed comparable adsorption behavior and antiviral activities. Primarily, Ag nanoparticles have been widely known only as an antibacterial agent, however, few recent studies have reported its effectiveness against many viral species. Hence Ag-encapsulated virus MIPs can be used as viral “sponge” which would adsorb, remove and inactivate adsorbed pathogenic viruses from contaminated water thereby regenerating the particles for subsequent use.