New York: Researchers have developed a new tool that mimics how SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes Covid-19 — infects a cell, information that could potentially speed the search for treatments against the disease.
The tool is a fluorescent nanoparticle probe that uses the spike protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 to bind to cells and trigger the process that pulls the virus into the cell.
According to the study, published in the journal ACS Nano, the probe could be used in tests to rapidly gauge the ability of biologics, drugs and compounds to block the actual virus from infecting human cells.
“Our goal is to create a screening system to find compounds that block SARS-CoV-2 from binding to cells and infecting them,” said study author Kirill Gorshkov from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) in the US.
To create the probe, scientists built a…