Clinicians and researchers worldwide are actively studying the mechanisms governing the infection of humans by SARS-CoV-2 and its consequences on their health, with the objective is to find effective therapies. We all aknowledge their important role in the current crisis – and in preventing future ones!

While respiratory symptoms are predominant, acute cardiac and kidney injuries, arrhythmias, gut, and liver function abnormalities have all been documented in infected patients, suggesting myocardial, renal, enteric and hepatic damage in COVID-19.

Importantly, ACE2 (Angiotensin converting enzyme 2) has been described as the receptor by which SARS-CoV-2 enters the cells (Hoffmann et al., 2020). Since ACE2 is expressed and plays important roles in a variety of organs and tissues (lungs, cardiovascular system, gut, kidneys, central nervous system, and adipose tissue; see Figure 1), it provides the critical link between infection by SARS-CoV-2, immunity, inflammation and cardiovascular disease (Gheblawi et al., 2020).

Figure 1: Expression of ACE2 – the receptor of SARS-CoV-2 – throughout the human body
Source: Gheblawi et al., 2020

Moreover, an important proportion of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients develop neurological symptoms in addition to systemic and respiratory symptoms, including headache, disturbed consciousness and paresthesia. It is therefore of crucial importance to understand the neurological complications in such infections, and the mechanisms of damage to the nervous system (Wu et al., 2020).

In this context, HCS Pharma is able to provide the researchers working on coronaviruses with relevant matrices for 3D cell culture and suitable for air-liquid interface culture, helping them to investigate in vitro the mechanisms of their systemic consequences and to test potentiel therapies in a physiological microenvironment. BIOMIMESYS® Adipose Tissue, Liver and Brain could be particularly relevant in this endeavour… We would be happy to help – so please do not hesistate to contact us if you need some!


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