No doubt, nanotechnology can boost the therapeutic efficiency of drug delivery. Nanodrugs, the combination of nanotechnology as the lipid nanoemulsions developed by DIVERSA, and pharmaceuticals, are a current hotspot in the medical field.
Yet, once introduced into the human body, new players emerge. In the biological fluids, proteins and other biomolecules surround the nanodrugs, forming the protein corona, that will transform their properties and affect their blood circulation, cellular uptake, cytotoxicity, and therapeutic agent release. Their understanding, excellently reviewed by Wang et al. in their last review article, is crucial to optimize targeted delivery.
What’s Protein Corona?
Among other biomolecules, protein content in biological fluids is genuinely high, leading to increased interaction with the nanoparticles (NPs) when injected into the human body. The proteins adsorbed on the surface of the NPs are called protein corona and lead to a transformation of their physicochemical properties.
NPs will be coated quickly with the proteins of the richest content or highest migration rate in the biological fluid and later replaced by proteins with higher affinity. The composition of the protein corona will change regarding the administration route of the nanodrug, but also depending on the size, shape, surface properties, and charge of the NPs, as shown in Figure 1.
This composition will determine the nanodrug’s behavior and fate in the organism because cells tend to recognize the protein-coated nanoparticle through membrane cell receptors, not the nanoparticle itself, as shown in Figure 1. Thus, controlling the protein corona composition may be used to deliver therapeutic molecules to different organs.
Figure 1. Illustrative diagram showing the interaction/exchange script and the probable NP–protein complex structure. a) The representative drawing shows the possible exchange/interaction scenarios at the bio-nanointerface at the cellular level. b) The representative drawings show the structure of the NP–protein complexes in plasma, affirming the outer weakly interacting layer of protein (left, full red arrows) and the hard slow exchanging corona of proteins (right).
Extracted from: Akhter, M.H.; Khalilullah, H.; Gupta, M.; Alfaleh, M.A.; Alhakamy, N.A.; Riadi, Y.; Md, S. Impact of Protein Corona on the Biological Identity of Nanomedicine: Understanding the Fate of Nanomaterials in the Biological Milieu. Biomedicines 2021, 9, 1496. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9101496
How can Nanotechnology help to understand the Protein Corona Effect and Tropism?
Protein-decorated nanoparticles play a crucial role in understanding the protein corona and tropism, which are important aspects of nanomedicine and nanotoxicology.
Here’s how they can help:
- By decorating nanoparticles with specific proteins, researchers can investigate how different proteins selectively bind to the nanoparticle surface and influence its interactions with cells and tissues.
- Protein-decorated nanoparticles can be engineered to mimic the surface properties of target cells or tissues by displaying specific targeting ligands or receptor-binding domains. These ligands can be proteins or peptides that interact with cell surface receptors or markers, enabling the nanoparticles to bind to and enter the desired target cells selectively. By systematically modifying the protein decoration on nanoparticles, researchers can study the impact of different proteins on tropism and investigate how specific surface features influence cellular targeting and uptake.
- Protein-decorated nanoparticles can provide valuable insights into the mechanisms of cellular internalization. The protein corona formed on nanoparticles can influence cellular uptake by interacting with cell surface receptors, transporters, or endocytic pathways. By decorating nanoparticles with proteins that are known to be involved in specific internalization mechanisms, researchers can gain a better understanding of how nanoparticles are recognized and internalized by cells.
- Protein-decorated nanoparticles can also aid in assessing nanotoxicity. The protein corona can affect the biological response of nanoparticles, including their toxicity profile. By decorating nanoparticles with specific proteins, researchers can evaluate how different proteins in the corona modulate the interaction of nanoparticles with cells, potentially influencing their cytotoxicity, immune response, or other adverse effects.
We are excited to announce the availability of our cutting-edge reagent, DIVERSA Protein Delivery Reagent, designed to revolutionize your research in nanomedicine and nanotoxicology. Our nanoparticles offer unique functionalities that allow for precise manipulation and investigation of the protein corona and tropism phenomena. They can be decorated with a wide range of proteins, you can easily track and analyze their interactions with cells and tissues with our fluorescent labeled reagents, and they can be specifically engineered to mimic the surface properties of target cells or tissues.
Accelerate your discoveries and advance scientific knowledge in the complex realms of protein corona and tropism.
Contact us today to learn more about our Protein-Decorated Nanoparticles and how they can revolutionize your research. Together, let’s unravel the mysteries of nanoparticle-protein interactions and pave the way for innovative applications in biomedicine and beyond!