A materials-science perspective on tackling COVID-19

Zhongmin Tang, Na Kong, Xingcai Zhang, Yuan Liu, Ping Hu, Shan Mou, Peter Liljeström, Jianlin Shi, Weihong Tan, Jong Seung Kim, Yihai Cao, Robert Langer, Kam W. Leong, Omid C. Farokhzad, Wei Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic highlights the importance of materials science in providing tools and technologies for antiviral research and treatment development. In this Review, we discuss previous efforts in materials science in developing imaging systems and microfluidic devices for the in-depth and real-time investigation of viral structures and transmission, as well as material platforms for the detection of viruses and the delivery of antiviral drugs and vaccines. We highlight the contribution of materials science to the manufacturing of personal protective equipment and to the design of simple, accurate and low-cost virus-detection devices. We then investigate future possibilities of materials science in antiviral research and treatment development, examining the role of materials in antiviral-drug design, including the importance of synthetic material platforms for organoids and organs-on-a-chip, in drug delivery and vaccination, and for the production of medical equipment. Materials-science-based technologies not only contribute to the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 research efforts but can also provide platforms and tools for the understanding, protection, detection and treatment of future viral diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-860
Number of pages14
JournalNature Reviews Materials
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'A materials-science perspective on tackling COVID-19'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this