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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e48147. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048147. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Tin oxide nanowires suppress herpes simplex virus-1 entry and cell-to-cell membrane fusion.

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Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


The advent of nanotechnology has ushered in the use of modified nanoparticles as potential antiviral agents against diseases such as herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (HSV-1) (HSV-2), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), monkeypox virus, and hepatitis B virus. Here we describe the application of tin oxide (SnO(2)) nanowires as an effective treatment against HSV-1 infection. SnO(2) nanowires work as a carrier of negatively charged structures that compete with HSV-1 attachment to cell bound heparan sulfate (HS), therefore inhibiting entry and subsequent cell-to-cell spread. This promising new approach can be developed into a novel form of broad-spectrum antiviral therapy especially since HS has been shown to serve as a cellular co-receptor for a number of other viruses as well, including the respiratory syncytial virus, adeno-associated virus type 2, and human papilloma virus.

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