Significance of surface charge and shell material of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION) based core/shell nanoparticles on the composition of the protein corona†
As nanoparticles (NPs) are increasingly used in many applications their safety and efficient applications in nanomedicine have become concerns. Protein coronas on nanomaterials’ surfaces can influence how the cell “recognizes” nanoparticles, as well as the in vitro and in vivo NPs’ behaviors. The SuperParamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticle (SPION) is one of the most prominent agents because of its superparamagnetic properties, which is useful for separation applications. To mimic surface properties of different types of NPs, a core–shell SPION library was prepared by coating with different surfaces: polyvinyl alcohol polymer (PVA) (positive, neutral and negative), SiO2 (positive and negative), titanium dioxide and metal gold. The SPIONs with different surfaces were incubated at a fixed serum : nanoparticle surface ratio, magnetically trapped and washed. The tightly bound proteins were quantified and identified. The surface charge has a great impact on protein adsorption, especially on PVA and silica where proteins preferred binding to the neutral and positively charged surfaces. The importance of surface material on protein adsorption was also revealed by preferential binding on TiO2 and gold coated SPION, even negatively charged. There is no correlation between the protein net charge and the nanoparticle surface charge on protein binding, nor direct correlation between the serum proteins’ concentration and the proteins detected in the coronas.