Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    Identification of Receptor Binding to the Biomolecular Corona of Nanoparticles
    Biomolecules adsorbed on nanoparticles are known to confer a biological identity to nanoparticles, mediating the interactions with cells and biological barriers. However, how these molecules are presented on the particle surface in biological milieu remains unclear. The central aim of this study is to identify key protein recognition motifs and link them to specific cell-receptor interactions. Here, we employed an immuno-mapping technique to quantify epitope presentations of two major proteins in the serum corona, low-density lipoprotein and immunoglobulin G. Combining with a purpose-built receptor expression system, we show that both proteins present functional motifs to allow simultaneous recognition by low-density lipoprotein receptor and Fc-gamma receptor I of the corona. Our results suggest that the “labeling” of nanoparticles by biomolecular adsorption processes allows for multiple pathways in biological processes in which they may be “mistaken” for endogenous objects, such as lipoproteins, and exogenous ones, such as viral infections.
      546Scopus© Citations 183
  • Publication
    Locating Reactive Groups on Nanomaterials with Gold Nanoclusters: Toward a Surface Reactive Site Map
    Nanoparticles (NPs) are often functionalized with reactive groups like amines or thiols for the subsequent conjugation of further molecules, e.g., stabilizing polymers, drugs and proteins or targeting cells or specific diseases, etc. In addition to the quantitative estimation of the reactive conjugation sites, their nanoscale and molecular positioning and local arrangement on single nanoparticles becomes more and more important for tailored engineering and design of functional nanomaterials. Here, we use maleimide or sulfo-succinimidyl ester modified 1.4 nm gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) to specifically label reactive thiol and amine groups with sub –2 nm precision on metal oxide and polymeric nanostructures. We confirm the binding of AuNCs by measuring and modelling sedimentation properties using analytical centrifugation, image their surface distribution and surface distances by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and compare the results to ensemble measurements of numbers of reactive surface groups obtained by common photometric assays. We map thiol and amine groups introduced on silica NPs (SiNPs), titania stars (Ti), silica inverse opals (SiOps), and polystyrene NPs (PS NPs). We show that the method is suitable to map local, clustered inhomogeneities of the reactive sites on single SiNPs introduced by masking certain areas during surface functionalization. Mapping precise positions of reactive surface groups is essential for the design and the tailored ligation of multifunctional nanomaterials.
      454Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Regimes of Biomolecular Ultrasmall Nanoparticle Interactions
    Ultrasmall nanoparticles (USNPs), usually defined as NPs with core in the size range 1–3 nm, are a class of nanomaterials which show unique physicochemical properties, often different from larger NPs of the same material. Moreover, there are also indications that USNPs might have distinct properties in their biological interactions. For example, recent in vivo experiments suggest that some USNPs escape the liver, spleen, and kidney, in contrast to larger NPs that are strongly accumulated in the liver. Here, we present a simple approach to study the biomolecular interactions at the USNPs bio-nanointerface, opening up the possibility to systematically link these observations to microscopic molecular principles.
      496Scopus© Citations 81
  • Publication
    Mapping protein binding sites on the biomolecular corona of nanoparticles
    Nanoparticles in a biological milieu are known to form a sufficiently long-lived and well-organized 'corona' of biomolecules to confer a biological identity to the particle. Because this nanoparticle-biomolecule complex interacts with cells and biological barriers, potentially engaging with different biological pathways, it is important to clarify the presentation of functional biomolecular motifs at its interface. Here, we demonstrate that by using antibody-labelled gold nanoparticles, differential centrifugal sedimentation and various imaging techniques it is possible to identify the spatial location of proteins, their functional motifs and their binding sites. We show that for transferrin-coated polystyrene nanoparticles only a minority of adsorbed proteins exhibit functional motifs and the spatial organization appears random, which is consistent, overall, with a stochastic and irreversible adsorption process. Our methods are applicable to a wide array of nanoparticles and can offer a microscopic molecular description of the biological identity of nanoparticles.
      551Scopus© Citations 299
  • Publication
    Biological recognition of graphene nanoflakes
    The systematic study of nanoparticle-biological interactions requires particles to be reproducibly dispersed in relevant fluids along with further development in the identification of biologically relevant structural details at the materials-biology interface. Here, we develop a biocompatible long-term colloidally stable water dispersion of few-layered graphene nanoflakes in the biological exposure medium in which it will be studied. We also report the study of the orientation and functionality of key proteins of interest in the biolayer (corona) that are believed to mediate most of the early biological interactions. The evidence accumulated shows that graphene nanoflakes are rich in effective apolipoprotein A-I presentation, and we are able to map specific functional epitopes located in the C-terminal portion that are known to mediate the binding of high-density lipoprotein to binding sites in receptors that are abundant in the liver. This could suggest a way of connecting the materials' properties to the biological outcomes.
      369Scopus© Citations 72
  • Publication
    In situ characterization of nanoparticle biomolecular interactions in complex biological media by flow cytometry
    Nanoparticles interacting with, or derived from, living organisms are almost invariably coated in a variety of biomolecules presented in complex biological milieu, which produce a bio-interface or ‘biomolecular corona’ conferring a biological identity to the particle. Biomolecules at the surface of the nanoparticle–biomolecule complex present molecular fragments that may be recognized by receptors of cells or biological barriers, potentially engaging with different biological pathways. Here we demonstrate that using intense fluorescent reporter binders, in this case antibodies bound to quantum dots, we can map out the availability of such recognition fragments, allowing for a rapid and meaningful biological characterization. The application in microfluidic flow, in small detection volumes, with appropriate thresholding of the detection allows the study of even complex nanoparticles in realistic biological milieu, with the emerging prospect of making direct connection to conditions of cell level and in vivo experiments.
      464Scopus© Citations 130
  • Publication
    Towards a classification strategy for complex nanostructures
    The range of possible nanostructures is so large and continuously growing, that collating and unifying the knowledge connected to them, including their biological activity, is a major challenge. Here we discuss a concept that is based on the connection of microscopic features of the nanomaterials to their biological impacts. We also consider what would be necessary to identify the features that control their biological interactions, and make them resemble each other in a biological context.
      309Scopus© Citations 42
  • Publication
    Mapping of Molecular Structure of the Nanoscale Surface in Bionanoparticles
    Characterizing the orientation of covalently conjugated proteins on nanoparticles, produced for in vitro and in vivo targeting, though an important feature of such a system, has proved challenging. Although extensive physicochemical characterization of targeting nanoparticles can be addressed in detail, relevant biological characterization of the nanointerface is crucial in order to select suitable nanomaterials for further in vitro or in vivo experiments. In this work, we adopt a methodology using antibody fragments (Fab) conjugated to gold nanoparticles (immunogold) to map the available epitopes on a transferrin grafted silica particle (SiO2−PEG8−Tf) as a proxy methodology to predict nanoparticle biological function, and therefore cellular receptor engagement. Data from the adopted method suggest that, on average, only∼3.5% of proteins grafted on the SiO2−PEG8−Tf nanoparticle surface have a favorable orientation for recognition by the cellular receptor.
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