Isolation Methods Influence the Protein Corona Composition on Gold-Coated Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

Khoi Nguyen L. Hoang, Korin E. Wheeler, Catherine J. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Upon exposure to a biological environment, nanoparticles (NPs) acquire biomolecular coatings, the most studied of which is the protein corona. This protein corona gives NPs a new biological identity that will determine various biological responses including cellular uptake, biodistribution, and toxicity. The standard method to isolate NPs from a biological matrix in order to study their coronas is centrifugation, but more gentle means of retrieval may enable deeper understanding of both irreversibly bound hard coronas and more loosely bound soft coronas. In this study, magnetic gold-coated iron oxide NPs were incubated with rainbow trout gill cell total protein extracts and mass spectrometric proteomic analysis was conducted to determine the composition of the protein coronas isolated by either centrifugation or magnetic retrieval. The number of washes were varied to strip away the soft coronas and isolate the hard corona. Hundreds of proteins were adsorbed to the NPs. Some proteins were common to all isolation methods and many others were particular to the isolation method. Some qualitative trends in protein character were discerned from quantitative proteomic analyses, but more importantly, a new kind of protein corona was identified, mixed corona, in which the labile or inert nature of the protein-NP interaction is dependent upon sample history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4737-4746
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 22 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Isolation Methods Influence the Protein Corona Composition on Gold-Coated Iron Oxide Nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this