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Fibers 2014, 2(3), 187-210; doi:10.3390/fib2030187

The Role of the Protein Corona in Fiber Structure-Activity Relationships

2 and 1,*
1 Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Materials-Biology Interactions, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, St. Gallen 9014, Switzerland 2 Adolphe Merkle Institute, BioNanomaterials, Rte de l'Ancienne Papeterie, CP209, Marly 1, 1723, Switzerland The authors Melanie Kucki and Jean-Pierre Kaiser have contributed equally to the manuscript
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 May 2014 / Revised: 7 June 2014 / Accepted: 11 June 2014 / Published: 30 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanofibres: Friend or Foe?)
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When nanomaterials enter biological fluids, they are immediately covered by biomolecules, particularly proteins, forming the so-called protein corona. The dynamic nature and complexity of the protein corona can impact upon the biological effects and distribution of nanomaterials with an organism. Therefore, the protein corona is an important factor in determining the biological impact of any nanomaterials. The protein adsorption pattern is determined by various factors, including the bio-fluids’ protein composition, the nanomaterials’ physicochemical properties, as well as the time and type of exposure. Predominantly, research has focused upon spherical nano-objects, however, due to their ever-increasing potential use within human based applications, and, therefore, heightening and inevitable exposure to the human body, little is known regarding how proteins interact with nanofibers. Therefore, the present review focuses on the current knowledge as to how the geometry of man-made (nano)fibers, carbon nanotubes (in comparison with asbestos fibers), affects their interaction with proteins within biological fluids. Summarizing state-of the art methodologies applied to dissect protein-binding signatures, it is further discussed whether the protein corona composition of fibrous and non-fibrous materials differ, as well as what impact the protein corona has on (nano)fiber uptake, intracellular distribution and their subsequent toxicity.
Keywords: nanofibers; protein adsorption; carbon nanotubes; asbestos; toxicity; protein analysis nanofibers; protein adsorption; carbon nanotubes; asbestos; toxicity; protein analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kucki, M.; Kaiser, J.-P.; Clift, M.J.D.; Rothen-Rutishauser, B.; Petri-Fink, A.; Wick, P. The Role of the Protein Corona in Fiber Structure-Activity Relationships. Fibers 2014, 2, 187-210.

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