Graphene-Based "Hot Plate" for the Capture and Destruction of the Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1

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The study of graphene-based antivirals is still at a nascent stage and the photothermal antiviral properties of graphene have yet to be studied. Here, we design and synthesize sulfonated magnetic nano particles functionalized with reduced graphene oxide (SMRGO) to capture and photothermally destroy herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Graphene sheets were uniformly anchored with spherical magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) of varying size between and 25 nm. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) confirmed the sulfonation and anchoring of MNPs on the graphene sheets. Upon irradiation of the composite with near-infrared light (NIR, 808 nm, 7 min), SMRGO (100 ppm) demonstrated superior (99.99%) photothermal antiviral activity. This was probably due to the capture efficiency, unique sheet-like structure, high surface area, and excellent photothermal properties of graphene. In addition, electrostatic interactions of MNPs with viral particles appear to play a vital role in the inhibition of viral infection. These results suggest that graphene composites may help to combat viral infections including, but not only, HSV-1.
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