Issue 11, 2018

Chemical modification of enveloped viruses for biomedical applications


The unique characteristics of enveloped viruses including nanometer size, consistent morphology, narrow size distribution, versatile functionality and biocompatibility have attracted attention from scientists to develop enveloped viruses for biomedical applications. The biomedical applications of the viral-based nanoparticles include vaccine development, imaging and targeted drug delivery. The modification of the structural elements of enveloped viruses is necessary for the desired functions. Here, we review the chemical approaches that have been utilized to develop bionanomaterials based on enveloped viruses for biomedical applications. We first provide an overview of the structures of enveloped viruses which are composed of nucleic acids, structural and functional proteins, glycan residues and lipid envelope. The methods for modification, including direct conjugation, metabolic incorporation of functional groups and peptide tag insertion, are described based on the biomolecular types of viral components. Layer-by-layer technology is also included in this review to illustrate the non-covalent modification of enveloped viruses. Then, we further elaborate the applications of chemically-modified enveloped viruses, virus-like particles and viral subcomponents in biomedical research.

Graphical abstract: Chemical modification of enveloped viruses for biomedical applications

Article information

Article type
Review Article
08 Jul 2018
25 Sep 2018
First published
08 Oct 2018

Integr. Biol., 2018,10, 666-679