Since the arrival of COVID-19, viruses have become a frequent topic of conversation. Likewise, the scientific and medical world have focused to the maximum in creating a vaccine that helps to reverse its effects within the organism.
In addition, there are groups within these sectors that have taken the initiative to develop new methods to help the body fight viral infections. One of these projects was recently unveiled by a team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) who proposed an innovative method to be used in the treatment against viruses that attack the body.
Is about ‘Traps’ made from DNA folded into nanocapsules to which specialized binding points were implanted inside which would be able to capture the viruses and neutralize them, leaving them inert.
To reach this result, the team involved spent these last years experimenting with the programming of DNA, making it fold into blocks and plates to later be assembled, taking as a reference the origami principles.
To test the viability of this technology, the researchers took the initiative to manufacture hollow bodies the size of a virus and then put them into action and see if they could be able to capture the viruses and stop their advance within the body.
To carry out this, the team took as reference the icosahedron, a shape made up of 20 triangular surfaces. Once the DNA had been transformed into origami, the next thing they did was create a half shell of 180 subunits, then proceeded to line the center with molecules that had the ability to bind to viruses.
The outer surfaces were then irradiated with ultraviolet light, being then treated with polyethylene glycol and oligolysin. This, to prevent bodily fluids from degrading the traps.
Once completed, the traps were tested in laboratory cell cultures, with mouse serum, human cells, and viruses. As a result, the structures were stable in serum for a period of 24 hours, also managing to capture two types of virus: that of the hepatitis B and adeno-associated disease (AAV).