Journal article

Zwitterionic Modification of Ultrasmall Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Reduced Protein Corona Formation

Karina Pombo-Garcia, Carmen L Ruehl, Raymond Lam, Jose A Barreto, Ching-Seng Ang, Peter J Scammells, Peter Comba, Leone Spiccia, Bim Graham, Tanmaya Joshi, Holger Stephan

ChemPlusChem | Wiley | Published : 2017


Polyacrylic‐acid‐coated ultra‐small super‐paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles were surface‐modified with low‐molecular‐weight sulfobetaines or 3‐(diethylamino)propylamine in order to generate nanoparticles with zwitterionic character (ZW‐NPs). The ZW‐NPs proved highly resistant to serum protein corona formation in vitro, as revealed by atomic force microscopy, SDS‐PAGE and proteomics analysis, and exhibited low cytotoxicity towards A431 and HEK293 cells. The presence of unreacted carboxylic acid groups enabled additional functionalization with fluorescent (Cy5) and radioactive [64Cu–dmptacn; dmptacn=1,4‐bis(2‐pyridinylmethyl)‐1,4,7‐triazacyclononane] moieties. Overall, the ZW‐NPs represent..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund (Functional Nanomaterials for Multimodality Cancer Imaging (NanoTracking)

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We acknowledge use of facilities within the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy. We also thank Dr. Avinash Patel for support with protein-based techniques, Bezu Teschome for instrumental help with AFM, Stephan Weiss for support with zeta potential measurements, Utta Herzog for technical support during the cell culture work, and Karin Landrock for the elemental analyses. KPG also thanks the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics for providing office space. This study was supported by the Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund (Functional Nanomaterials for Multimodality Cancer Imaging (NanoTracking), project ID: VH-VI-421), the Australian Research Council through a Future Fellowship to B.G. (FT130100838), a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award and Discovery Grant to L.S. (DP130100816), and by an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation research fellowship to T.J. This article is dedicated to the memory of our friend, colleague and mentor, Prof. Leone Spiccia, who passed away on the 18th December 2016.