Send to

Choose Destination
Nanoscale. 2020 Feb 13. doi: 10.1039/c9nr08784b. [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of plasma concentration of transferrin on targeting capacity of nanoparticles.

Author information

Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.
Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA.
Vassar College address 124 Raymond Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604, USA.
Department of Nanotechnology, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Organization (AREEO), Karaj, Iran.
School of Pharmacy-International Campus, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Monza, Italy and Nanomedicine Center NANOMIB, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy.
Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Health Institute, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran.
Department of Radiology and Precision Health Program, MI 48824, USA.


It is becoming increasingly accepted that various diseases have a capacity to alter the composition of plasma proteins. This alteration in protein composition may consequently change the targeting capacity of nanoparticles (NPs). In this study, the impact of a model targeting ligand's (i.e., Transferrin; Tf) concentration in human plasma on the targeting capacity of gold NPs (Au NPs), pre-conjugated with Tf, is investigated. Our findings demonstrate that the protein corona formation by both healthy and Tf depleted human plasma diminishes the targeting efficacy of Au NPs within human cancer cells despite a preservation of targeting ability by plasma with excess Tf (10-fold). Moreover, the plasma samples obtained from patients with various Tf levels (e.g., thalassemia major, sickle cell anemia, aplastic anemia, and iron deficiency anemia) have affected the accessibility of the targeting Tf in the corona layer and subsequently affected their targeting ability, which emphasizes the critical role of disease-specific protein corona on the efficacy of Au NPs. Ultimately, variations of protein concentration (e.g., due to disease occurrence and progress) in plasma affect its recruiting in corona formation, and in turn, affect the targeting and therapeutic efficacies of Au NPs.


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Royal Society of Chemistry
Loading ...
Support Center