Albumin nanoparticles (NPs) and PEGylated liposomes have garnered tremendous interest as therapeutic drug carriers due to their unique physicochemical properties. These unique properties also have significant effects on the composition and structure of the protein corona formed around these NPs in a biological environment. Herein, protein corona formation on albumin NPs and liposomes was simultaneously evaluated through in vitro and simulation studies. The sizes of both types of NPs increased with more negatively charged interfaces upon being introduced into fetal bovine serum. Gel electrophoresis and label-free quantitative proteomics were performed to identify proteins recruited to the hard corona, and fewer proteins were found in albumin NPs than in liposomes, which is in accordance with isothermal titration calorimetry. The cellular uptake efficiency of the two NPs significantly differed in different serum concentrations, which was further scrutinized by loading an anticancer compound into albumin NPs. The presence of the hard protein corona increased the cellular uptake of albumin NPs in comparison with liposomes. In our simulation study, a specific receptor present in the membrane was greatly attracted to the albumin–apolipoprotein E complex. Overall, this study not only evaluated protein corona formation on albumin NPs, but also made promising advancements toward albumin- and liposome-based therapeutic systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17825-17838
Number of pages14
Issue number44
Early online date29 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2023


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