Nanoparticles Surface Chemistry Influence on Protein Corona Composition and Inflammatory Responses

Laura E. González-García, Melanie N. Macgregor, Rahul M. Visalakshan, Artur Lazarian, Alex A. Cavallaro, Svenja Morsbach, Agnieszka Mierczynska-Vasilev, Volker Mailänder, Katharina Landfester, Krasimir Vasilev

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17 Citations (Scopus)
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Nanoparticles are widely used for biomedical applications such as vaccine, drug delivery, diagnostics, and therapeutics. This study aims to reveal the influence of nanoparticle surface functionalization on protein corona formation from blood serum and plasma and the subsequent effects on the innate immune cellular responses. To achieve this goal, the surface chemistry of silica nanoparticles of 20 nm diameter was tailored via plasma polymerization with amine, carboxylic acid, oxazolines, and alkane functionalities. The results of this study show significant surface chemistryinduced differences in protein corona composition, which reflect in the subsequent inflammatory consequences. Nanoparticles rich with carboxylic acid surface functionalities increased the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to higher level of complement proteins and decreased the number of lipoproteins found in their protein coronas. On another hand, amine rich coatings led to increased expressions of anti-inflammatory markers such as arginase. The findings demonstrate the potential to direct physiological responses to nanomaterials via tailoring their surface chemical composition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number682
Number of pages19
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2022


  • Inflammatory responses
  • Plasma polymerization
  • Protein corona
  • Silica nanoparticles


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