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Nanobody-Functionalized Cellulose for Capturing and Containing SARS-CoV-2
  • +4
  • Xin Sun,
  • Shaobo Yang,
  • Amal AI-Dossary,
  • Shana Broitman,
  • Yun Ni,
  • Mengdi Yang,
  • Jiahe Li
Xin Sun
Northeastern University
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Shaobo Yang
Northeastern University
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Amal AI-Dossary
Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University
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Shana Broitman
Northeastern University
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Yun Ni
Northeastern University
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Mengdi Yang
Northeastern University
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Jiahe Li
Northeastern University
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Abstract

The highly transmissible severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected more than 196 million people, claiming ~ 4.2 million lives to date. Although mandatory quarantines, lockdowns, and vaccinations help curb viral transmission, safe and effective preventative measures remain urgently needed. Here, we present a generic strategy for containing SARS-CoV-2 by cellulose materials. Specifically, we developed a bifunctional fusion protein consisting of a cellulose-binding domain and a nanobody (Nb) targeting the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2. The immobilization of the fusion proteins on cellulose substrates enhanced the capture efficiency of Nbs against SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses of both the wildtype and the D614G variant, the latter of which has been shown to confer higher infectivity. Furthermore, the fusion protein was integrated into a customizable chromatography with highly porous cellulose for neutralizing virus from contaminated fluids in a continuous and cost-effective fashion. Taken together, our work leverages low-cost cellulose materials and recently developed Nbs to provide a complementary approach to addressing the pandemic.