Can Protein Corona Profile Predict Pulmonary Clearance of Engineered Nanoparticles?

Understanding the interactions of nanoparticles (NPs) with biomolecules at the air-blood barrier is of great interest in nanomedicine and nanotoxicology. Airborne NPs reach the deep alveolar region of the lung where they encounter biomolecules of the alveolar lining fluid. The interaction results in the formation of a phospholipid-protein “corona” on the NP surface. The very first step in this encounter is underappreciated and poorly characterized, but is critical in determining subsequent fate and effects of NPs. Our data show that NPs of different chemical composition develop a characteristic phospholipid-protein corona while interacting with biomolecules of lung lining fluid. We also found the pulmonary responses and lung clearance profiles for these diverse NPs to be dramatically different. We hypothesize that a database of protein coronas of a diverse NP library will aid in the development of a platform for predicting pulmonary effects and kinetics of NPs. Such corona profiling will also help in assessment of risks from nanomaterials in nano-enabled products.

konduruNagarjun Konduru Venkata, PhD is a Research Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  His research focuses on the bioavailaliblity, biodistribution, and clearance of nanoparticles.  He received his PhD from the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh.