Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)

Protein Corona Mediated Uptake and Cytotoxicity of Silver Nanoparticles in Mouse Embryonic Fibroblast.

PMID 30058105


Medical applications of nanoparticles (NPs) require understanding of their interactions with living systems in order to control their physiological response, such as cellular uptake and cytotoxicity. When NPs are exposed to biological fluids, the adsorption of extracellular proteins on the surface of NPs, creating the so-called protein corona, can critically affect their interactions with cells. Here, the effect of surface coating of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on the adsorption of serum proteins (SPs) and its consequence on cellular uptake and cytotoxicity in mouse embryonic fibroblasts are shown. In particular, citrate-capped AgNPs are internalized by cells and show a time- and dose-dependent toxicity, while the passivation of the NP surface with an oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG)-alkanethiol drastically reduces their uptake and cytotoxicity. The exposure to growth media containing SPs reveals that citrate-capped AgNPs are promptly coated and stabilized by proteins, while the AgNPs resulting from capping with the OEG-alkanethiol are more resistant to adsorption of proteins onto their surface. Using NIH-3T3 cultured in serum-free, the key role of the adsorption of SPs onto surface of NPs is shown as only AgNPs with a preformed protein corona can be internalized by the cells and, consequently, carry out their inherent cytotoxic activity.