Regarding the importance of the biological effects of nanomaterials, there is still limited knowledge about the binding structure and stability of the protein corona on nanomaterials and the subsequent impacts. Here we designed a hard serum albumin protein corona (BSA) on CTAB-coated gold nanorods (AuNRs) and captured the structure of protein adsorption using synchrotron radiation X-ray absorption spectroscopy, microbeam X-ray fluorescent spectroscopy, and circular dichroism in combination with molecular dynamics simulations. The protein adsorption is attributed to at least 12 Au-S bonds and the stable corona reduced the cytotoxicity of CTAB/AuNRs. These combined strategies using physical, chemical, and biological approaches will improve our understanding of the protective effects of protein coronas against the toxicity of nanomaterials. These findings have shed light on a new strategy for studying interactions between proteins and nanomaterials, and this information will help further guide the rational design of nanomaterials for safe and effective biomedical applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry