Scientists have developed an antiviral dressing material inspired by rose thorns with sterilizing properties activated by visible light. It provides physical and chemical protection against viral agents, such as the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

According to Nanowerk, this new nanoengineered antiviral dressing material demonstrated HSV virus-trapping, tetrapod-shaped zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZOTen) that give a microbicidal effect and vaccine treatment against HSV-1 is associated with oral, and eye infections, and HSV-2 is associated with genital diseases.

 Rose Thorn-Inspired Nanoengineered Antiviral Dressing Material Can Treat Herpes Simplex
(Photo: Pixabay)
Rose Thorn-Inspired Nanoengineered Antiviral Dressing Material Can Treat Herpes Simplex

Rose-Thorn Inspired Nanoengineered Antiviral Material

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that infection from the herpes simplex virus could either be type 1 or type 2 that causes infection to the mouth or genital areas. But both types are usually asymptomatic or unrecognized, although painful blisters or ulcers on the site of infection could appear.

In the study, titled "Nanoengineered Antiviral Fibrous Arrays with Rose-Thorn-Inspired Architectures" published in ACS Materials Letters, researchers described rose thorn-inspired antiviral fibrous arrays that provide physical and chemical protection when activated under blue light stimulation.

Study first author Amir Nasajpour told Nanowerk that their team hypothesized that when ZOTen rose thorn-like protrusions are incorporated into non-woven fibrous mats, they could generate antiviral properties and provide treatment for HSV. He added that it could be made into antiviral garments and face coverings used during viral outbreaks.

The team re-engineered zinc oxide (ZnO), an additive agent found in sunscreen, to turn into a self-sterilizing component within the non-woven fibrous mats. This created an associated oxidant hydrogen peroxide capable of eliminating bacteria and viruses and functions as herpes simplex treatment.

Scientists also said that the excitation caused by blue light stimulation leads to a photochemical reaction that sterilizes viruses off the surfaces.

They hope that their nanoengineered mats can be used to manufacture antiviral garments, bandages, antiviral coatings, face coverings, and fabrics that can be used to treat herpes simplex virus type 1 to neutralize and stop their spread. They are now planning to test and optimize these materials against aerosol viral strains.

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How is Herpes Simplex Usually Treated?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, a dermatologist diagnoses herpes simplex by taking a swab from a sore and sending it to a laboratory. But if sores are not present, they conduct blood tests to detect HSV.

Once confirmed, dermatologists start to create a treatment plan. There is no cure for herpes simplex, but sores can be cleared without treatment. But treatment is given to relieve symptoms and shorten an outbreak.

Doctors usually give antiviral medicine, either oral or intravenous medication, that can come in a cream or ointment to relieve the burning, itching, and tingling sensation.

Some antiviral medicines approved for herpes simplex treatment of either type include Acyclovir, Famciclovir, and Valacyclovir. These medicines are taken every day to lessen the severity and frequency of outbreaks and prevent infected people from transmitting the virus to other people.

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