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Protein Corona Formation on Magnetite Nanoparticles: Effects of Culture Medium Composition, and Its Consequences on Superparamagnetic Nanoparticle Cytotoxicity

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The physicochemical properties and potential cytotoxicity of nanoparticles (NPs) are significantly influenced by their interaction with proteins, which results in corona formation. Here, we have determined whether corona formation, resulting from interactions between superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) and different cell culture media, may have consequences for driving NP toxic effects. To address this issue, complementary methods were used. The determination of the hydrodynamic size distribution by ζ (zeta) potential measurement indicated that SPIONs were negatively charged under all conditions but that the actual charge was differed with the cell culture medium used. In vitro protein adsorption studies were carried out using the Bradford protein assay and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The Bradford assay revealed that the concentration of unadsorbed proteins and other biomolecules decreased when the SPION concentration increased. FTIR showed that the proteins were, indeed, adsorbed onto the NP surface. This was followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flightsecondary ion mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF-SIMS), to identify the adsorbed proteins. Ultimately, three different cell viability assays led to the conclusion that the SPIONs were not toxic for all the concentrations used here. In summary, we found that corona formation on the SPIONs depends on the composition of the culture media but has no consequence for nanotoxicity. We have shown that the application of complementary methods has provided novel insights into SPION/protein interactions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2015

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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