MICROTRAPS: Plasma membrane-derived vesicles to treat viral infections

Epidemics of emerging and re-emerging viral diseases such as the current pandemic by SARS-CoV-2 pose a real threat to global health and, in most cases, there are no specific drugs for the treatment of these viral infections. To meet this demand, approximately 90 new antiviral drugs have been approved in the last 50 years, but their spectrum of activity is generally limited to specific virus groups.

Researchers from the Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (IBiS) have identified and developed a very innovative approach, based on the use of microsomes to control viral infections, particularly isolated plasma membrane-derived vesicles.

The technology proposed consists of microsomes for use in the treatment of viral infections. The vesicles have been proven effective in capturing viral particles, specifically adenovirus, and influenza virus, but could be used to capture any other viral particle from the bloodstream. Once the virus has been trapped, the vesicle can be eliminated from the bloodstream by both natural and non-natural processes. Naturally, the mononuclear phagocyte system would likely clear the vesicles from the blood. On the other hand, among the non-natural processes, the vesicles containing the viral particles could be eliminated by apheresis, plasmapheresis, or any other similar methods.

Concentration-dependent neutralization of human adenovirus and influenza A virus infection for tech transfer
Concentration-dependent neutralization of human adenovirus and influenza A virus infection.

The potential of the plasma membrane-derived vesicles for capturing adenovirus and influenza viruses has been proven in vitro. Such vesicles and their production method by cell lysis and recircularization of the fragmented plasma membranes are protected by a European patent application (EP22382139) filed in February 2022, which has been extended internationally via a PCT application.


  • Less invasive therapy, as the patient’s body can naturally degrade the vesicles.
  • Problems of cytotoxicity and adverse effects are eliminated, as the vesicles are plasma membrane-derived.
  • The proposed technology can be adapted for the treatment of various viral diseases.
  • The technology could be an effective tool for the treatment of most viral infections impacting the global economy and reducing the healthcare cost of serious viral infections.

The represented institution is looking for a collaboration that leads to commercial exploitation of the presented invention.

Institution: Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla (Ibis- Biomedicine Institute of Sevilla)

TRL: 3-4

Protection status: European Patent Application

Financed: UCIE IDM 2021 – 2023

Contact: Nuria Bas / tech@viromii.com