Nano-Biomimetic Drug Delivery Vehicles: Potential Approaches for COVID-19 Treatment

Bwalya A. Witika, Pedzisai A. Makoni, Larry L. Mweetwa, Pascal V. Ntemi, Melissa T.R. Chikukwa, Scott K. Matafwali, Chiluba Mwila, Steward Mudenda, Jonathan Katandula, Roderick B. Walker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The current COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resolve of the global community with more than 35 million infections worldwide and numbers increasing with no cure or vaccine available to date. Nanomedicines have an advantage of providing enhanced permeability and retention and have been extensively studied as targeted drug delivery strategies for the treatment of different disease. The role of monocytes, erythrocytes, thrombocytes, and macrophages in diseases, including infectious and inflammatory diseases, cancer, and atherosclerosis, are better understood and have resulted in improved strategies for targeting and in some instances mimicking these cell types to improve therapeutic outcomes. Consequently, these primary cell types can be exploited for the purposes of serving as a “Trojan horse” for targeted delivery to identified organs and sites of inflammation. State of the art and potential utilization of nanocarriers such as nanospheres/nanocapsules, nanocrystals, liposomes, solid lipid nanoparticles/nano-structured lipid carriers, dendrimers, and nanosponges for biomimicry and/or targeted delivery of bioactives to cells are reported herein and their potential use in the treatment of COVID-19 infections discussed. Physicochemical properties, viz., hydrophilicity, particle shape, surface charge, composition, concentration, the use of different target-specific ligands on the surface of carriers, and the impact on carrier efficacy and specificity are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5952
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • biomimetic drug delivery
  • cytokine storm syndrome
  • nanomedicine
  • nanotechnology


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