Coronaviruses (CoVs) are enveloped viruses with particle-like characteristics and a diameter of 60-140 nm, positively charged, and single-stranded RNA genomes, which caused a major outbreak of human fatal pneumonia in the beginning of the 21st century. COVID-19 is currently considered a continuous potential pandemic threat across the globe. Therefore, considerable efforts have been made to develop innovative methods and technologies for suppressing the spread of viruses as well as inactivating the viruses but COVID-19 vaccines are still in the development phase. This perspective focuses on the sensing, detection and therapeutic applications of CoVs using inorganic- based nanomaterials, metal complexes, and metal-conjugates. Synthetic inorganic- based nanoparticles interact strongly with proteins of viruses due to their morphological similarities, and therefore, numerous antivirals have been tested for efficacy against different viruses in vitro through colorimetric and electrochemical assays. Metal complexes- based agents such as bismuth complexes form an attractive class of drugs with a number of therapeutic applications, including the inhibition and duplex-unwinding activity of SARS-CoV helicase by quantitative real-time PCR (Q-RT-PCR), phosphate release assay and radioassay studies. Metal-conjugates show major effects on inhibiting the 3Clike protease of SARS-CoV and the replication of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). We anticipate that these approaches will provide rapid and accurate antiviral strategies in the development of these innovative sensors for the detection, inhibition and antiviral activities of coronaviruses.
Keywords: Coronavirus (CoV), RNA, metal complexes, metal-conjugates, metallic nanoparticles, sensing and inhibition.