Beyond Unpredictability: The Importance of Reproducibility in Understanding the Protein Corona of Nanoparticles

While it is well established that the surface of a nanoparticle plays a pivotal role for the protein corona, the vast number of proteins present in biological media render general conclusions about affinities between nanoparticle surfaces and proteins nontrivial. Recently published articles increasingly reveal differences between systems and an ever increasing number of influencing factors for the protein corona. In contrast, the present study posits that the reported differences may, at least in part, be due to poor experimental design, which leads to biased results. The present study investigates protein adsorption onto silica nanoparticles with different chemical groups on the surface by the statistical analysis of triplicate measurements as well as control measurements. We demonstrate that 60% of the identified protein types did not have any significant affinities for the nanoparticles. Of the remaining 40%, 60% were driven by surface charges and only 40% preferentially adsorbed onto specific surface groups. Furthermore, we found that of the 20 most abundant proteins in the serum, only five bound to the nanoparticles studied here. We illustrate the importance of control replicate experiments to avoid exaggerated differences between systems and to properly quantify the differences and similarities between comparable systems.

Published in:
Bioconjugate Chemistry, 29, 10, 3385-3393
Oct 01 2018

 Record created 2018-12-13, last modified 2019-06-19

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