The Influence of Nanoparticle Shape on Protein Corona Formation

Rahul Madathiparambil Visalakshan, Laura E. González García, Mercy R. Benzigar, Arthur Ghazaryan, Johanna Simon, Agnieszka Mierczynska-Vasilev, Thomas D. Michl, Ajayan Vinu, Volker Mailänder, Svenja Morsbach, Katharina Landfester, Krasimir Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Nanoparticles have become an important utility in many areas of medical treatment such as targeted drug and treatment delivery as well as imaging and diagnostics. These advances require a complete understanding of nanoparticles' fate once placed in the body. Upon exposure to blood, proteins adsorb onto the nanoparticles surface and form a protein corona, which determines the particles' biological fate. This study reports on the protein corona formation from blood serum and plasma on spherical and rod-shaped nanoparticles. These two types of mesoporous silica nanoparticles have identical chemistry, porosity, surface potential, and size in the y-dimension, one being a sphere and the other a rod shape. The results show a significantly larger amount of protein attaching from both plasma and serum on the rod-like particles compared to the spheres. Interrogation of the protein corona by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry reveals shape-dependent differences in the adsorption of immunoglobulins and albumin proteins from both plasma and serum. This study points to the need for taking nanoparticle shape into consideration because it can have a significant impact on the fate and therapeutic potential of nanoparticles when placed in the body.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000285
Number of pages7
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • bio-nanoparticle interactions
  • mesoporous nanoparticles
  • nanoparticle shape
  • protein adsorption
  • protein corona
  • rod shape
  • sphere shape


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