Serum heat inactivation affects protein corona composition and nanoparticle uptake

A. Lesniak, A. Campbell, M.P. Monopoli, I. Lynch, A. Salvati, K.A. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoparticles are of an appropriate size to interact with cells, and are likely to use a range of cellular machinery for internalisation and trafficking to various sub-cellular compartments. It is now understood that once in contact with biological fluids, the nanoparticle surface gets covered by a highly specific layer of proteins, forming the nanoparticle protein corona. This protein layer is stable for times longer than the typical time scale of nanoparticle import, and thus can impact on particle uptake and trafficking inside the cells. In this work, the effect of the corona composition on nanoparticle uptake has been investigated, by studying the impact of serum heat inactivation and complement depletion on the load of nanoparticles accumulated inside the cell. For the same material and nanoparticle size, cellular uptake was found to be significantly different when the nanoparticles were dispersed in medium where the serum was heat inactivated or not heat inactivated, even for non-specialized cells, suggesting that different sera can lead to different nanoparticle doses. The fact that uptake was correlated with the amount of protein bound into the nanoparticle corona suggests the need for commonly agreed dispersion protocols for in vitro nanoparticle-cell studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9511-9518
Number of pages8
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010

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