Influence of protein adsorption on the cellular uptake of AuNPs conjugated with chiral oligomers
Upon nanoparticles's (NPs) encounter with biological fluids, proteins shall be inevitably adsorbed on their surface to form a protein corona. Although its importance is widely accepted, information on the influence of the surface chirality of NPs on the protein corona and thereby cellular uptake is still missing. Herein, poly(acryloyl-L(D)-valine (L(D)-PAV) and poly(acryloyl-L(D)-valine)-b-poly(2-hydroxyethyl methylacrylate) (L(D)-PAV-b-PHEMA) chiral molecules were conjugated on a gold NP (AuNP) surface. Their interaction with serum proteins and A549 and HepG2 cancer cells in a medium containing concentrated serum was studied. The proteins in the serum-rich medium largely adsorbed onto PAV–AuNP NPs regardless of their optical activity, and shielded the chiral-selectivity in terms of cellular uptake. The introduction of a hydrophilic PHEMA block underneath the PAV block could significantly reduce the adsorption of serum proteins, and maintain the chiral-selective cellular uptake of PAV-b-PHEMA–AuNPs, indicating efficient performance by combining non-specific repelling and chiral-targeting effects.