Isolation methods for particle protein corona complexes from protein-rich matrices
Background: Nanoparticles become rapidly encased by a protein layer when they are in contact with biological fluids. This protein shell is called a corona. The composition of the corona has a strong influence on the surface properties of the nanoparticles. It can affect their cellular interactions, uptake and signaling properties. For this reason, protein coronae are investigated frequently as an important part of particle characterization. Main body of the abstract: The protein corona can be analyzed by different methods, which have their individual advantages and challenges. The separation techniques to isolate corona-bound particles from the surrounding matrices include centrifugation, magnetism and chromatographic methods. Different organic matrices, such as blood, blood serum, plasma or different complex protein mixtures, are used and the approaches vary in parameters such as time, concentration and temperature. Depending on the investigated particle type, the choice of separation method can be crucial for the subsequent results. In addition, it is important to include suitable controls to avoid misinterpretation and false-positive or false-negative results, thus allowing the achievement of a valuable protein corona analysis result. Conclusion: Protein corona studies are an important part of particle characterization in biological matrices. This review gives a comparative overview about separation techniques, experimental parameters and challenges which occur during the investigation of the protein coronae of different particle types.
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