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PLoS One. 2017 Jul 19;12(7):e0181634. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181634. eCollection 2017.

Surface functionalization-specific binding of coagulation factors by zinc oxide nanoparticles delays coagulation time and reduces thrombin generation potential in vitro.

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Toxicological Research Division, National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Osong, Republic of Korea.
Department of Medicinal Biotechnology, School of Health Sciences, Dong-A University, Busan, Republic of Korea.
Department of Chemistry and Medical Chemistry, College of Science and Technology, Yonsei University, Gangwon-do, Republic of Korea.


Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) have many biomedical applications such as chemotherapy agents, vaccine adjuvants, and biosensors but its hemocompatibility is still poorly understood, especially in the event of direct contact of NPs with blood components. Here, we investigated the impact of size and surface functional groups on the platelet homeostasis. ZnO NPs were synthesized in two different sizes (20 and 100 nm) and with three different functional surface groups (pristine, citrate, and L-serine). ZnO NPs were incubated with plasma collected from healthy rats to evaluate the coagulation time, kinetics of thrombin generation, and profile of levels of coagulation factors in the supernatant and coronated onto the ZnO NPs. Measurements of plasma coagulation time showed that all types of ZnO NPs prolonged both active partial thromboplastin time and prothrombin time in a dose-dependent manner but there was no size- or surface functionalization-specific pattern. The kinetics data of thrombin generation showed that ZnO NPs reduced the thrombin generation potential with functionalization-specificity in the order of pristine > citrate > L-serine but there was no size-specificity. The profile of levels of coagulation factors in the supernatant and coronated onto the ZnO NPs after incubation of platelet-poor plasma with ZnO NPs showed that ZnO NPs reduced the levels of coagulation factors in the supernatant with functionalization-specificity. Interestingly, the pattern of coagulation factors in the supernatant was consistent with the levels of coagulation factors adsorbed onto the NPs, which might imply that ZnO NPs simply adsorb coagulation factors rather than stimulating these factors. The reduced levels of coagulation factors in the supernatant were consistent with the delayed coagulation time and reduced potential for thrombin generation, which imply that the adsorbed coagulation factors are not functional.

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