Surface coating affects behavior of metallic nanoparticles in a biological environment

Domazet Jurašin, Darija and Ćurlin, Marija and Capjak, Ivona and Crnković, Tea and Lovrić, Marija and Babič, Michal and Horák, Daniel and Vinković Vrček, Ivana and Gajović, Srećko (2016) Surface coating affects behavior of metallic nanoparticles in a biological environment. Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, 7. pp. 246-262. ISSN 2190-4286

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Silver (AgNPs) and maghemite, i.e., superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are promising candidates for new medical applications, which implies the need for strict information regarding their physicochemical characteristics and behavior in a biological environment. The currently developed AgNPs and SPIONs encompass a myriad of sizes and surface coatings, which affect NPs properties and may improve their biocompatibility. This study is aimed to evaluate the effects of surface coating on colloidal stability and behavior of AgNPs and SPIONs in modelled biological environments using dynamic and electrophoretic light scattering techniques, as well as transmission electron microscopy to visualize the behavior of the NP. Three dispersion media were investigated: ultrapure water (UW), biological cell culture medium without addition of protein (BM), and BM supplemented with common serum protein (BMP). The obtained results showed that different coating agents on AgNPs and SPIONs produced different stabilities in the same biological media. The combination of negative charge and high adsorption strength of coating agents proved to be important for achieving good stability of metallic NPs in electrolyte-rich fluids. Most importantly, the presence of proteins provided colloidal stabilization to metallic NPs in biological fluids regardless of their chemical composition, surface structure and surface charge. In addition, an assessment of AgNP and SPION behavior in real biological fluids, rat whole blood (WhBl) and blood plasma (BlPl), revealed that the composition of a biological medium is crucial for the colloidal stability and type of metallic NP transformation. Our results highlight the importance of physicochemical characterization and stability evaluation of metallic NPs in a variety of biological systems including as many NP properties as possible.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The license is subject to the Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology terms and conditions: ( The definitive version of this article is the electronic one which can be found at: doi:10.3762/bjnano.7.23
Departments: Hrvatski institut za istraživanje mozga
Katedra za histologiju i embriologiju
Depositing User: Martina Žužak
Status: Published
Domazet Jurašin, DarijaUNSPECIFIED
Vinković Vrček, IvanaUNSPECIFIED
Gajović, SrećkoUNSPECIFIED
Date: 15 February 2016
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2017 09:27
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2020 08:35
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