Ex situ evaluation of the composition of protein corona of intravenously injected superparamagnetic nanoparticles in rats†
It is now well recognized that the surfaces of nanoparticles (NPs) are coated with biomolecules (e.g., proteins) in a biological medium. Although extensive reports have been published on the protein corona at the surface of NPs in vitro, there are very few on the in vivo protein corona. The main reason for having very poor information regarding the protein corona in vivo is that separation of NPs from the in vivo environment has not been possible by using available techniques. Knowledge of the in vivo protein corona could lead to better understanding and prediction of the fate of NPs in vivo. Here, by using the unique magnetic properties of superparamagnetic iron oxide NPs (SPIONs), NPs were extracted from rat sera after in vivo interaction with the rat's physiological system. More specifically, the in vivo protein coronas of polyvinyl-alcohol-coated SPIONs with various surface charges are defined. The compositions of the corona at the surface of various SPIONs and their effects on the biodistribution of SPIONs were examined and compared with the corona composition of particles incubated for the same time in rat serum.