The COVID-19 pandemic, induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused great impact on the global economy and people’s daily life. In the clinic, most patients with COVID-19 show none or mild symptoms, while approximately 20% of them develop severe pneumonia, multiple organ failure, or septic shock due to infection-induced cytokine release syndrome (the so-called “cytokine storm”). Neutralizing antibodies targeting inflammatory cytokines may potentially curb immunopathology caused by COVID-19; however, the complexity of cytokine interactions and the multiplicity of cytokine targets make attenuating the cytokine storm challenging. Nonspecific in vivo biodistribution and dose-limiting side effects further limit the broad application of those free antibodies. Recent advances in biomaterials and nanotechnology have offered many promising opportunities for infectious and inflammatory diseases. Here, potential mechanisms of COVID-19 cytokine storm are first discussed, and relevant therapeutic strategies and ongoing clinical trials are then reviewed. Furthermore, recent research involving emerging biomaterials for improving antibody-based and broad-spectrum cytokine neutralization is summarized. It is anticipated that this work will provide insights on the development of novel therapeutics toward efficacious management of COVID-19 cytokine storm and other inflammatory diseases.
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