Nanoparticle proteomics: Characterizing protein-nanoparticle interactions in biofluids

Jan 09, 2012
Protein profile analysis, as shown in the heat map above, reveals that different nanoparticle sizes (50 nm, 100 nm) and surface chemistries (amine, carboxylate) may have different accumulation, fate, and health effects.

New insights about how the human body interacts with nanoparticles at the protein level were published by an EMSL user team in the December 2011 issue 23 of Proteomics.

The team, from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, devised an elegant and novel method to characterize proteins that attach to the surface of nanoparticles and generated the largest set of protein-nanoparticle data to date. 

For their study, the researchers used nanoparticles that emulate selected characteristics of environmental particles, such as those found in diesel exhaust or urban environments, and can enter the lungs and cause asthma, emphysema, and cancer. They incubated the nanoparticles with human blood plasma, allowing plasma proteins to adsorb to their surface, and then digested the proteins while they were still attached to the nanoparticles. These digested proteins were identified and quantified using EMSL’s LTQ Orbitrap mass spectrometers and LC-MS based proteomics. 

Remarkably, the team identified 88 nanoparticle-adsorbed in different conditions.  Their data showed that the proteins coated the nanoparticles in fewer than five minutes, suggesting the protein-nanoparticle interaction is immediate.  

Furthermore, different nanoparticle sizes and surface chemistries resulted in different adsorbed protein profiles, indicating that different kinds of may have different accumulation, fate, and health effects. Such analyses pave the way for better predictive models about nanoparticle-protein interactions and can influence decisions about nanoparticle use and human health and safety.

Explore further: Gold nanorods target cancer cells

More information: Zhang H, et al.  2011. “Quantitative proteomics analysis of adsorbed plasma proteins classifies nanoparticles with different surface properties and size.” Proteomics 11(23): 4569-4577.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists Quantify Nanoparticle-Protein Interactions

Jan 13, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A research team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has quantified the interaction of gold nanoparticles with important proteins found in human blood, an approach that should ...

Ultrashort laser ablation enables novel metal films

Sep 21, 2010

Laser ablation is well known in medical applications like dermatology and dentistry, and for more than a decade it has been used to vaporize materials that are difficult to evaporate for high-tech applications like deposition ...

New insights into nanoparticles and dividing cells

Dec 19, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- What happens when living cells take up nanoparticles, those tiny entities that could offer new ways of delivering drugs into the body? A new study from researchers at UCD has tracked the progress of nanoparticles ...

Recommended for you

Gold nanorods target cancer cells

Dec 18, 2014

Using tiny gold nanorods, researchers at Swinburne University of Technology have demonstrated a potential breakthrough in cancer therapy.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.