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Protein Adsorption: A Feasible Method for Nanoparticle Functionalization?

by Roberta Cagliani 1,2,†, Francesca Gatto 3,† and Giuseppe Bardi 1,*
Nanobiointeractions & Nanodiagnostics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Genova, Via Dodecaneso 31, 16146 Genova, Italy
Drug Discovery and Development Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Via Morego, 30, 16163 Genova, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
R.C. and F.G. equally contributed to this work.
Materials 2019, 12(12), 1991;
Received: 1 June 2019 / Revised: 18 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 21 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatible Surface Functionalization of Nanomaterials)
Nanomaterials are now well-established components of many sectors of science and technology. Their sizes, structures, and chemical properties allow for the exploration of a vast range of potential applications and novel approaches in basic research. Biomedical applications, such as drug or gene delivery, often require the release of nanoparticles into the bloodstream, which is populated by blood cells and a plethora of small peptides, proteins, sugars, lipids, and complexes of all these molecules. Generally, in biological fluids, a nanoparticle’s surface is covered by different biomolecules, which regulate the interactions of nanoparticles with tissues and, eventually, their fate. The adsorption of molecules onto the nanomaterial is described as “corona” formation. Every blood particulate component can contribute to the creation of the corona, although small proteins represent the majority of the adsorbed chemical moieties. The precise rules of surface-protein adsorption remain unknown, although the surface charge and topography of the nanoparticle seem to discriminate the different coronas. We will describe examples of adsorption of specific biomolecules onto nanoparticles as one of the methods for natural surface functionalization, and highlight advantages and limitations. Our critical review of these topics may help to design appropriate nanomaterials for specific drug delivery. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoparticles; protein corona; drug delivery; surface functionalization nanoparticles; protein corona; drug delivery; surface functionalization
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Cagliani, R.; Gatto, F.; Bardi, G. Protein Adsorption: A Feasible Method for Nanoparticle Functionalization? Materials 2019, 12, 1991.

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