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Effect of Surface Chemistry and Associated Protein Corona on the Long-Term Biodegradation of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles In Vivo

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journal contribution
posted on 12.01.2018 by Grazyna Stepien, María Moros, Marta Pérez-Hernández, Marta Monge, Lucía Gutiérrez, Raluca M. Fratila, Marcelo de las Heras, Sebastián Menao Guillén, Juan José Puente Lanzarote, Conxita Solans, Julián Pardo, Jesús Martínez de la Fuente
The protein corona formed on the surface of a nanoparticle in a biological medium determines its behavior in vivo. Herein, iron oxide nanoparticles containing the same core and shell, but bearing two different surface coatings, either glucose or poly­(ethylene glycol), were evaluated. The nanoparticles’ protein adsorption, in vitro degradation, and in vivo biodistribution and biotransformation over four months were investigated. Although both types of nanoparticles bound similar amounts of proteins in vitro, the differences in the protein corona composition correlated to the nanoparticles biodistribution in vivo. Interestingly, in vitro degradation studies demonstrated faster degradation for nanoparticles functionalized with glucose, whereas the in vivo results were opposite with accelerated biodegradation and clearance of the nanoparticles functionalized with poly­(ethylene glycol). Therefore, the variation in the degradation rate observed in vivo could be related not only to the molecules attached to the surface, but also with the associated protein corona, as the key role of the adsorbed proteins on the magnetic core degradation has been demonstrated in vitro.