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Publication from CBNI researchers in "In Nano" (ACS Publications)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Protein and Nanoparticles: Measuring Attraction

Nanoparticles have the potential for a vast array of applications in nearly every sector of science and technology, including many biomedical fields. Before these tools can be useful, researchers must verify their safety and understand how they interact with living organisms. Previous studies have shown that nanoparticles’ surface chemistry is key in defining their effects on cells and tissues. Biological fluids coat nanoparticles with biomolecules, including proteins, creating a corona that ultimately defines how these nanomaterials interface with cells. Scientists have undertaken a variety of studies to understand protein adsorption on nanoparticles. However, these studies have typically failed to incorporate the fact that protein binding on nanoparticles can be reversible. Although some research has suggested that proteins form two layers on nanoparticles–a hard, irreversibly bound corona and a soft, reversibly bound corona–protein exchange on the soft corona had not yet been quantified.

Using a method known as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, Milani et al. (DOI: 10.1021/nn204951s) measured protein molecules adhered to sulfonate- and carboxyl-polystyrene nanoparticles. [more]