Insights and perspectives regarding nanostructured fluorescent materials toward tackling COVID-19 and future pandemics

Mohit Saraf, Mohammad Tavakkoli Yaraki, Prateek, Yen Nee Tan*, Raju Kumar Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed the world’s preparation to fight against unknown/unexplored infectious and life-threatening pathogens. The unavailability of vaccines, slow or sometimes unreliable real-time virus/bacteria detection techniques, insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), and a shortage of ventilators and many other transportation equipments have further raised serious concerns. Material research has been playing a pivotal role in developing antimicrobial agents for water treatment and photodynamic therapy, fast and ultrasensitive biosensors for virus/biomarkers detection, as well as for relevant biomedical and environmental applications. It has been noticed that these research efforts nowadays primarily focus on the nanomaterials-based platforms owing to their simplicity, reliability, and feasibility. In particular, nanostructured fluorescent materials have shown key potential due to their fascinating optical and unique properties at the nanoscale to combat against a COVID-19 kind of pandemic. Keeping these points in mind, this review attempts to give a perspective on the four key fluorescent materials of different families, including carbon dots, metal nanoclusters, aggregation-induced-emission luminogens, and MXenes, which possess great potential for the development of ultrasensitive biosensors and infective antimicrobial agents to fight against various infections/diseases. Particular emphasis has been given to the biomedical and environmental applications that are linked directly or indirectly to the efforts in combating COVID-19 pandemics. This review also aims to raise the awareness of researchers and scientists across the world to utilize such powerful materials in tackling similar pandemics in future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-948
Number of pages38
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • fluorescent materials
  • COVID-19
  • carbon dots
  • metal nanoclusters
  • AIEgens
  • MXenes


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