American Chemical Society
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Probing Protein Corona Formation around Gold Nanoparticles: Effects of Surface Coating

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-12, 19:08 authored by Narjes Dridi, Zhicheng Jin, Woody Perng, Hedi Mattoussi
There has been much interest in integrating various inorganic nanoparticles (nanoscale colloids) in biology and medicine. However, buildup of a protein corona around the nanoparticles in biological media, driven by nonspecific interactions, remains a major hurdle for the translation of nanomedicine into clinical applications. In this study, we investigate the interactions between gold nanoparticles and serum proteins using a series of dihydrolipoic acid (DHLA)-based ligands. We employed gel electrophoresis combined with UV–vis absorption and dynamic light scattering to correlate protein adsorption with the nature and size of the ligand used. For instance, we found that AuNPs capped with DHLA alone promote nonspecific protein adsorption. In comparison, capping AuNPs with polyethylene glycol- or zwitterion-appended DHLA essentially prevents corona formation, regardless of ligand charge and size. Our results highlight the crucial role of surface chemistry and core material in protein corona formation and offer valuable information for the design of colloidal nanomaterials for biological applications.