Nano−Bio Interactions of Porous and Nonporous Silica Nanoparticles of Varied Surface Chemistry: A Structural, Kinetic, and Thermodynamic Study of Protein Adsorption from RPMI Culture Medium
Sean E. Lehman, Imali A. Mudunkotuwa, Vicki H. Grassian, Sarah C. Larsen
Understanding complex chemical changes that take place at nano–bio interfaces is of great concern for being able to sustainably implement nanomaterials in key applications such as drug delivery, imaging, and environmental remediation. Typical in vitro assays use cell viability as a proxy to understanding nanotoxicity but often neglect how the nanomaterial surface can be altered by adsorption of solution-phase components in the medium. Protein coronas form on the nanomaterial surface when incubated in proteinaceous solutions. Herein, we apply a broad array of techniques to characterize and quantify protein corona formation on silica nanoparticle surfaces. The porosity and surface chemistry of the silica nanoparticles have been systematically varied. Using spectroscopic tools such as FTIR and circular dichroism, structural changes and kinetic processes involved in protein adsorption were evaluated. Additionally, by implementing thermogravimetric analysis, quantitative protein adsorption measurements allowed for the direct comparison between samples. Taken together, these measurements enabled the extraction of useful chemical information on protein binding onto nanoparticles in solution. Overall, we demonstrate that small alkylamines can increase protein adsorption and that even large polymeric molecules such as poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) cannot prevent protein adsorption in these systems. The implications of these results as they relate to further understanding nano–bio interactions are discussed.
Circular dichroism, Nanostructures, Ligand binding, Thermodynamics, Materials, Biochemistry