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Protein corona: a new approach for nanomedicine design

Authors Nguyen VH, Lee BJ

Received 2 December 2016

Accepted for publication 7 March 2017

Published 18 April 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 3137—3151

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S129300

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Farooq Shiekh

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas J Webster


Van Hong Nguyen, Beom-Jin Lee

Department of Pharmacy, Bioavailability Control Laboratory, College of Pharmacy, Ajou University, Suwon, Republic of Korea

Abstract: After administration of nanoparticle (NP) into biological fluids, an NP–protein complex is formed, which represents the “true identity” of NP in our body. Hence, protein–NP interaction should be carefully investigated to predict and control the fate of NPs or drug-loaded NPs, including systemic circulation, biodistribution, and bioavailability. In this review, we mainly focus on the formation of protein corona and its potential applications in pharmaceutical sciences such as prediction modeling based on NP-adsorbed proteins, usage of active proteins for modifying NP to achieve toxicity reduction, circulation time enhancement, and targeting effect. Validated correlative models for NP biological responses mainly based on protein corona fingerprints of NPs are more highly accurate than the models solely set up from NP properties. Based on these models, effectiveness as well as the toxicity of NPs can be predicted without in vivo tests, while novel cell receptors could be identified from prominent proteins which play important key roles in the models. The ungoverned protein adsorption onto NPs may have generally negative effects such as rapid clearance from the bloodstream, hindrance of targeting capacity, and induction of toxicity. In contrast, controlling protein adsorption by modifying NPs with diverse functional proteins or tailoring appropriate NPs which favor selective endogenous peptides and proteins will bring promising therapeutic benefits in drug delivery and targeted cancer treatment.

Keywords: protein-nanoparticle interaction, protein corona, exchange of adsorbed protein, toxicity reduction, predictive modeling, targeting drug delivery

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