A protein corona primer for physical chemists.
Nanoparticles present in any biological environment are exposed to extracellular proteins. These proteins adsorb on the surface of the nanoparticle forming a "protein corona." These proteins control the interaction of nanoparticles with cells. The interaction of proteins with the nanoparticle surface is governed by physical chemistry. Understanding this process requires spectroscopy, microscopy, and computational tools that are familiar to physical chemists. This perspective provides an overview of the protein corona along with two future directions: first, the need for new computational approaches, including machine learning, to predict corona formation and second, the extension of protein corona studies to more complex environments ranging from lung fluids to waste water treatment.
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