The influence of protein adsorption on nanoparticle association with cultured endothelial cells
As materials are produced at smaller scales, the properties that make them especially useful for biological applications such as drug delivery, imaging or sensing applications also render them potentially harmful. There has been a reasonable amount of work addressing the interactions of biological fluids at material surfaces that demonstrates the high affinity of protein for particle surfaces and some looking at the role of particle surface chemistry in cellular associations, but mechanisms have been too little addressed outside the context of intended, specific interactions. Here, using cultured endothelium as a model for vascular transport, we demonstrate that the capacity of nanoparticle surfaces to adsorb protein is indicative of their tendency to associate with cells. Quantification of adsorbed protein shows that high binding nanoparticles are maximally coated in seconds to minutes, indicating that proteins on particle surfaces can mediate cell association over much longer time scales. We also remove many of the most abundant proteins from culture media which alters the profile of adsorbed proteins on nanoparticles but does not affect the level of cell association. We therefore conclude that cellular association is not dependent on the identity of adsorbed proteins and therefore unlikely to require specific binding to any particular cellular receptors.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 30, Issue 4, February 2009, Pages 603–610