Nanotechnology to Fight Against Virus: Towards Practical Implementation
Dal-Hee Min, Seoul National University

To date, various nanotechnological approaches have been explosively investigated to solve biological problems that were difficult to address by conventional approaches. Despite of plenty of successful demonstrations in biosensors and disease treatment, new technologies hardly enjoyed routine applications in practical nanobiomedicine, especially for drug discovery.
Viruses are tiny organisms that could infect and lead severe diseases in humans such as HIV, influenza and hepatitis. Some viral diseases may be prevented by vaccinations. However, in general, viruses are difficult drug targets because they rapidly mutate to adapt themselves to gain a resistance against to the drug. In this talk, we will discuss recent studies on how to detect and treat viral diseases using nanotechnology. Particularly, very recent studies which harness graphene derivatives will be introduced to develop bioanalytical platforms to quantitatively analyze various enzyme activities and biomarkers. These systems basically rely on attractive interaction between graphene oxide and biomolecules such as single stranded nucleic acids based on pi-pi stacking interaction and hydrogen bonding. Recently, we applied one of the graphene-based bioassay platforms (multiplexed helicase enzyme assay) to anti-viral drug screening and identified potent hit compounds to treat hepatitis C infection. This study clearly shows that a new nanobio-technology can be routinely implemented in drug discovery, providing many advantages over conventional methods.

Background Review Article:

Chung, Chul, et al. "Biomedical applications of graphene and graphene oxide." Accounts of chemical research (2013).

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