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Computer simulation of the role of protein corona in cellular delivery of nanoparticles

Ding, Hong-ming, Ma, Yu-qiang
Biomaterials 2014 v.35 no.30 pp. 8703-8710
adsorption, cell membranes, computer simulation, drugs, human serum albumin, hydrophobicity, immune response, macrophages, medicine, molecular dynamics, nanoparticles, neoplasm cells, protein corona
Understanding the role of serum protein in the process of nanoparticle delivery is of great importance in biomedicine. Here, by using dissipative particle dynamics simulations, we systematically investigate the interactions between the nanoparticle-protein corona complex and cell membranes of different types. It is found that the human serum albumin (HSA) will just adsorb onto charged (especially for positively charged) and hydrophobic nanoparticle surface. More importantly, we also provide specific insights into the effect of HSA adsorption on the in vivo transportation of nanoparticle (i.e., immune response and targeted cellular uptake). Our results show that the protein corona can change the interaction modes of hydrophobic nanoparticles and enhance the interaction of charged nanoparticles with macrophage cell membranes, while it may also cause the failure of insertion of hydrophobic nanoparticles and the loss of targeting specificity of charged nanoparticles with cancer cell membranes. These results can help better understand the biological significance of protein corona and may give some useful suggestions on better design of future nanoparticles in drug delivery.