The rapid development of nanotechnology has raised some concerns about the effects of engineered nanoparticles (NPs) on human health and the environment. At the same time, NPs have attracted intense interest because of their potential applications in biomedicine. Hence, the requirement of detailed knowledge of what takes place at the molecular level when NPs get inside living organisms is a necessary step in assessing and likely predicting the behavior of an NP. The elicited effects strongly depend on the early events occurring when NPs reach biological fluids, where the interaction with proteins is the primary process. Whereas the adsorption of proteins on biomaterials has been thoroughly investigated, the mechanisms underlying the interaction of proteins with NPs are still largely unexplored. Here we report a study of the behavior of four model proteins differing in their resistance to conformational changes, net charge, and surface charge distributions, adsorbed on two nanometric silica powders with distinct hydrophilicity. An integrated picture of the adsorption process has been obtained by applying a whole set of techniques: the extent of coverage of the silica surface and the reversibility of the process were evaluated by combining the adsorption isotherms with the changes in the ζ potential and the point of zero charge for NPs at different protein coverages; the occurrence of protein deformation was evaluated by Raman spectroscopy, and EPR spectroscopy of spin-labeled proteins provided insight into their orientation on the silica surface. We have found that the extent of coverage of the nanoparticle surface is strongly influenced by the protein structural stability as well as by the distribution of charges at the protein surface.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.