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Heterocoagulation as a Facile Route to Prepare Stable Serum Albumin-Nanoparticle Conjugates for Biomedical Applications: Synthetic Protocols and Mechanistic Insights.

ACS Nano. 2012 Aug 22;

Authors: Au KM, Armes SP


There is increasing interest in using serum albumin, the most abundant plasma protein, as a stabilizing agent in the context of nanomedicine. Using poly(vinyl amine)-stabilized polypyrrole nanoparticles as an example, we report a facile generic route to prepare serum albumin-nanoparticle conjugates via heterocoagulation. Time-resolved dynamic light scattering (DLS), disk centrifuge photosedimentometry (DCP) and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy studies confirm that bovine serum albumin (BSA) adsorbs rapidly onto the cationic poly(vinyl amine)-stabilized polypyrrole nanoparticles and suggest that the initial well-defined protein coronal is subsequently cross-linked via thiol-disulfide exchange. These BSA-nanoparticle conjugates were further characterized by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), aqueous electrophoresis, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). They exhibit excellent long-term colloidal stability under physiological conditions without further purification, suggesting strong irreversible adsorption by the BSA. Protein adsorption appears to be co-operative and both thermodynamic and mechanistic aspects were examined via aqueous electrophoresis, DCP and DLS studies.

PMID: 22913736 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]