Tandem Project

Nanoparticles for Diagnosis and Treatment of COVID-19

Laboratory Study

Currently, the world is in search of specific effective diagnostic tools and antiviral treatments for COVID-19. Owing to the severity of the pandemic, there is an urgent need to explore novel treatment alternatives. There have been more than 300 clinical trials going on with various antiviral agents being used for evaluation on COVID-19. Despite the urgent need to find an effective antiviral treatment for COVID-19 through randomized controlled studies, certain medical agents are being used all over the world based on either in vitro, extrapolated evidence or observational studies. Until current date, most research is focused on drugs and not new treatment alternatives.

Nanoparticles have emerged as a novel diagnostic and treatment tool for several diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and respiratory infections. These nanoparticles act as carriers for drugs and diagnostic elements with the ability to specifically target the diseased areas rather than healthy tissues. This decreases the side effects of medications and increases the efficacy of treatment.

In the first research line of this project, AGYA member Dr. Maha Nasr aims to screen antiviral drugs currently being tested in clinical trials for their antiviral activity and to select the most potent one for preparation of nebulizable nanoparticles, suitable to be administered by a nebulizer to patients. The antiviral activity of nanoparticles will be compared to the antiviral activity of the pure drugs. All the laboratory work is conducted at Ain Shams-University in Egypt.

In the second research line, AGYA member Dr. Mahmoud Abdel-Hafiez studies the nanomagnetism of 2D-crystals, which will be modified in the laboratories at Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany and Fayoum University in Egypt, to investigate their properties and develop them into diagnostic tools for pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2.

By the end, both project partners select the best diagnostic tool of high sensitivity for diagnosis of COVID-19 and the most efficient nanoparticle system for treatment, so that they can be tested in an animal model. The optimum treatment modality from the first research line and the optimum diagnostic modality from the second research line will be combined in a future continuation AGYA project by the two applicants, for sequential diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

Project Title
Creation of Nanodelivery Systems for Nanomagnetism or Direct Therapeutic Action in COVID-19
Funding Scheme
Tandem Project
Countries Involved
Egypt, Germany