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Protein corona between nanoparticles and bacterial proteins in activated sludge: Characterization and effect on nanoparticle aggregation

Zhang, Peng, Xu, Xiao-Yan, Chen, You-Peng, Xiao, Meng-Qian, Feng, Bo, Tian, Kai-Xun, Chen, Yue-Hui, Dai, You-Zhi
Bioresource technology 2018 v.250 pp. 10-16
activated sludge, bacterial proteins, flocculation, nanoparticles, proteomics, sorption isotherms, titanium dioxide, zinc, zinc oxide
In this work, the protein coronas of activated sludge proteins on TiO2 nanoparticles (TNPs) and ZnO nanoparticles (ZNPs) were characterized. The proteins with high affinity to TNPs and ZNPs were identified by shotgun proteomics, and their effects of on the distributions of TNPs and ZNPs in activated sludge were concluded. In addition, the effects of protein coronas on the aggregations of TNPs and ZNPs were evaluated. Thirty and nine proteins with high affinities to TNPs and ZNPs were identified, respectively. The proteomics and adsorption isotherms demonstrated that activated sludge had a higher affinity to TNPs than to ZNPs. The aggregation percentages of ZNPs at 35, 53, and 106 mg/L of proteins were 13%, 14%, and 18%, respectively, whereas those of TNPs were 21%, 30%, 41%, respectively. The proteins contributed to ZNPs aggregation by dissolved Zn ion-bridging, whereas the increasing protein concentrations enhanced the TNPs aggregation through macromolecule bridging flocculation.