Evolution of Nanoparticle Protein Corona across the Blood-Brain Barrier

Alysia Cox, Patrizia Andreozzi, Roberta Dal Magro, Fabio Fiordaliso, Alessandro Corbelli, Laura Talamini, Clizia Chinello, Francesca Raimondo, Fulvio Magni, Maria Tringali, Silke Krol, Paulo Jacob Silva, Francesco Stellacci, Massimo Masserini, Francesca Re

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Engineered nanoparticles offer the chance to improve drug transport and delivery through biological barriers, exploiting the possibility to leave the blood circulation and traverse the endothelial vascular bed, blood-brain barrier (BBB) included, to reach their target. It is known that nanoparticles gather molecules on their surface upon contact with biological fluids, forming the "protein corona", which can affect their fate and therapeutic/diagnostic performance, yet no information on the corona's evolution across the barrier has been gathered so far. Using a cellular model of the BBB and gold nanoparticles, we show that the composition of the corona undergoes dramatic quantitative and qualitative molecular modifications during passage from the "blood" to the "brain" side, while it is stable once beyond the BBB. Thus, we demonstrate that the nanoparticle corona dynamically and drastically evolves upon crossing the BBB and that its initial composition is not predictive of nanoparticle fate and performance once beyond the barrier at the target organ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7292-7300
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 24 2018


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