Journal article

Methods of protein corona isolation for magnetic nanoparticles

Nanoparticles (NPs) in contact with a biological environment get covered by proteins and some are loosely bound and some are tightly bound. The latter form a hard protein corona (HPC) which is known to determine their biological behavior. Therefore, in order to study the biological behaviour of NPs one needs to start from the HPC. However, established methods and standards of HPC isolation are still not known. This is especially a challenge in the case of magnetic NPs which form a major branch of nanomedicine. Therefore, we developed a novel HPC isolation method, a multi-step centrifugation method (MSCM), for single-domain magnetic NPs. The MSCM was applied to iron oxide NPs in interaction with human blood and lymph serum with different dilutions in triplicate. The analysis of the composition of the obtained HPCs showed the reproducibility of the MSCM. This new method was also compared with the existing magnetic separation method (MagSep) and a study of the obtained HPC allowed us to establish the validity limits of MagSep and MSCM on only superparamagnetic NPs and on any single-domain magnetic NPs, respectively. Surprisingly, the HPCs obtained by these two isolation methods were quite different, up to 50%, suggesting that only these proteins, which are found in the HPCs of both isolation methods, are in fact real HPCs.


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