Georgios Pyrgiotakis et al. published one of the first attempts to quantify the effect of the protein corona in the nano-bio interactions. The work was carried out in collaboration with the Particle Technology Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). Here is the abstract of the publication and the link to access it at Langmuir.
Particle–particle interactions in physiological media are important determinants for nanoparticle fate and transport. Herein, such interactions are assessed by a novel atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based platform. Industry-relevant CeO2, Fe2O3, and SiO2nanoparticles of various diameters were made by the flame spray pyrolysis (FSP)-based Harvard Versatile Engineering Nanomaterials Generation System (Harvard VENGES). The nanoparticles were fully characterized structurally and morphologically, and their properties in water and biological media were also assessed. The nanoparticles were attached on AFM tips and deposited on Si substrates to measure particle–particle interactions. The corresponding force was measured in air, water, and biological media that are widely used in toxicological studies. The presented AFM-based approach can be used to assess the agglomeration potential of nanoparticles in physiological fluids. The agglomeration potential of CeO2 nanoparticles in water and RPMI 1640 (Roswell Park Memorial Institute formulation 1640) was inversely proportional to their primary particle (PP) diameter, but for Fe2O3nanoparticles, that potential is independent of PP diameter in these media. Moreover, in RPMI+10% Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS), the corona thickness and dispersibility of the CeO2 are independent of PP diameter, while for Fe2O3, the corona thickness and dispersibility were inversely proportional to PP diameter. The present method can be combined with dynamic light scattering (DLS), proteomics, and computer simulations to understand the nanobio interactions, with emphasis on the agglomeration potential of nanoparticles and their transport in physiological media.