Effect of nanoparticle size and PEGylation on the protein corona of PLGA nanoparticles.


Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy, University of Muenster, Corrensstraße 48, 48149 Muenster, Germany. Electronic address: [Email]


Upon intravenous administration of nanoparticles (NP) into the bloodstream, proteins bind rapidly on their surface resulting in a formation of a so-called 'Protein Corona'. These proteins are strongly attached to the NP surface and provide a new biological identity which is crucial for the reaction at the nano-biointerface. The structure and composition of the protein corona is greatly determined by the physico-chemical properties of the NP and the characteristics of the biological environment. The overall objective of this study was to characterize the role of NP size/surface curvature and PEGylation on the formation of the protein corona. Therefore, we prepared NP in a size of 100 and 200 nm using the biodegradable polymers poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide)-co-polyethylene glycol diblock (PLGA-PEG) and subsequently incubated them with fetal bovine serum (FBS) to induce the formation of a protein corona. After removal of unbound protein, we employed different analytical approaches to study the corona in detail. Sodium dodecylsulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) was performed to gain a first impression about amount and composition of the corona proteins. Identification was carried out after tryptic in-solution digestion and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In addition, we successfully established the Bradford protein assay as a suitable colorimetric method to quantify total adsorbed protein amount after alkaline hydrolysis of PLGA based NP. Our results revealed that protein adsorption on PLGA- and PLGA-PEG-NP didn't depend on NP size within the range of 100 and 200 nm. PEGylation led to a significant reduced amount of bound proteins. The depletion of proteins which are involved in immune response was remarkable and indicated a prolonged circulation time in body.


Nanoparticles,Particle size,Poly(ethylene glycol),Poly(lactide-co-glycolic acid),Protein corona,Proteomics,Stealth coatings,‘Stealth’ nanoparticles,