The Evolution of the Protein Corona around Nanoparticles: A Test Study

Martin Lundqvist, Johannes Stigler, Tommy Cedervall, Tord Berggard, Michelle B. Flanagan, Iseult Lynch, Giuliano Elia, Kenneth Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

567 Citations (SciVal)


The importance of the protein corona formed around nanoparticles upon entering a biological fluid has recently been highlighted. This corona is, when sufficiently long-lived, thought to govern the particles' biological fate. However, even this long-lived "hard" corona evolves and re-equilibrates as particles pass from one biological fluid to another, and may be an important feature for long-term fate. Here we show the evolution of the protein corona as a result of transfer of nanopaiticles from one biological fluid (plasma) into another (cytosolic fluid), a simple illustrative model for the uptake of nanoparticles into cells. While no direct comparison can be made to what would happen in, for example, the uptake pathway, the results confirm that significant evolution of the corona occurs in the second biological solution, but that the final corona contains a "fingerprint" of its history. This could be evolved to map the transport pathways utilized by nanoparticles, and eventually to predict nanoparticle fate and behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7503-7509
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Nano Technology


  • protein corona
  • biological fluid
  • cytosolic fluid
  • nanoparticles
  • proteomics


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