Protein Corona in Response to Flow: Effect on Protein Concentration and Structure.
Nanoparticles used in cellular applications encounter free serum proteins that adsorb onto the surface of the nanoparticle, forming a protein corona. This protein layer controls the interaction of nanoparticles with cells. For nanomedicine applications, it is important to consider how intravenous injection and the subsequent shear flow will affect the protein corona. Our goal was to determine if shear flow changed the composition of the protein corona and if these changes affected cellular binding. Colorimetric assays of protein concentration and gel electrophoresis demonstrate that polystyrene nanoparticles subjected to flow have a greater concentration of serum proteins adsorbed on the surface, especially plasminogen. Plasminogen, in the absence of nanoparticles, undergoes changes in structure in response to flow, characterized by fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopy. The protein-nanoparticle complexes formed from fetal bovine serum after flow had decreased cellular binding, as measured with flow cytometry. In addition to the relevance for nanomedicine, these results also highlight the technical challenges of protein corona studies. The composition of the protein corona was highly dependent on the initial mixing step: rocking, vortexing, or flow. Overall, these results reaffirm the importance of the protein corona in nanoparticle-cell interactions and point toward the challenges of predicting corona composition based on nanoparticle properties.
Jayaram, DT; Pustulka, SM; Mannino, RG; Lam, WA; Payne, CK
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