Nanotraps for the containment and clearance of SARS-CoV-2

Min Chen, Jillian Rosenberg, Xiaolei Cai, Andy Chao Hsuan Lee, Jiuyun Shi, Mindy Nguyen, Thirushan Wignakumar, Vikranth Mirle, Arianna Joy Edobor, John Fung, Jessica Scott Donington, Kumaran Shanmugarajah, Yiliang Lin, Eugene Chang, Glenn Randall, Pablo Penaloza-MacMaster, Bozhi Tian, Maria Lucia Madariaga, Jun Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


SARS-CoV-2 enters host cells through its viral spike protein binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors on the host cells. Here, we show that functionalized nanoparticles, termed “Nanotraps,” completely inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection by blocking the interaction between the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and the ACE2 of host cells. The liposomal-based Nanotrap surfaces were functionalized with either recombinant ACE2 proteins or anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies and phagocytosis-specific phosphatidylserines. The Nanotraps effectively captured SARS-CoV-2 and completely blocked SARS-CoV-2 infection to ACE2-expressing human cell lines and primary lung cells; the phosphatidylserine triggered subsequent phagocytosis of the virus-bound, biodegradable Nanotraps by macrophages, leading to the clearance of pseudotyped and authentic virus in vitro. Furthermore, the Nanotraps demonstrated an excellent biosafety profile in vitro and in vivo. Finally, the Nanotraps inhibited pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 infection in live human lungs in an ex vivo lung perfusion system. In summary, Nanotraps represent a new nanomedicine for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2059-2082
Number of pages24
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2 2021


  • COVID-19
  • MAP6: Development
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • antiviral
  • inhibition
  • macrophage
  • nanomedicine
  • nanoparticle
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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