COVID-19 infection is increasing globally at an alarming rate and doctors are continuously reporting a range of symptoms in COVID-19 patients. It is widely established that the virus’ host site is the respiratory system, however, there is evidence emerging that suggests other tissues, particularly the kidney and blood vessels, can also host the virus.
Typically, COVID-19 starts infecting ACE2 expressing cells in the nose and throat before progressing to other tissues. Cardiac and kidney cells also harbour ACE2 receptors, which may explain why damage in these organs is also prevalent in patients with severe cases. Considerable work is now underway by labs world-wide to fully understand COVID-19’s pathophysiology as scientists work towards the development of suitable therapies. In this area, the development of 3-dimensional (3D) model and diseased tissues, such as organoids, and/or reliable 3D ACE2 expressing tissue models are being developed using reliable and clinically relevant scaffolds such as PeptiGels®. Work in this area will contribute to the anticipated rapid development of COVID-19 therapies.
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