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In depth characterisation of the biomolecular coronas of polymer coated inorganic nanoparticles with differential centrifugal sedimentation

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journal contribution
posted on 02.07.2021, 16:09 authored by André Perez-Potti, Hender Lopez, Beatriz Pelaz, Abuelmagd Abdelmonem, Mahmoud SolimanMahmoud Soliman, Ingmar SchoenIngmar Schoen, Philip M. Kelly, Kenneth A. Dawson, Wolfgang J. Parak, Zeljka Krpetic, Marco MonopoliMarco Monopoli
Advances in nanofabrication methods have enabled the tailoring of new strategies towards the controlled production of nanoparticles with attractive applications in healthcare. In many cases, their characterisation remains a big challenge, particularly for small-sized functional nanoparticles of 5 nm diameter or smaller, where current particle sizing techniques struggle to provide the required sensitivity and accuracy. There is a clear need for the development of new reliable characterisation approaches for the physico-chemical characterisation of nanoparticles with significant accuracy, particularly for the analysis of the particles in the presence of complex biological fluids. Herein, we show that the Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation can be utilised as a high-precision tool for the reliable characterisation of functional nanoparticles of different materials. We report a method to correlate the sedimentation shift with the polymer and biomolecule adsorption on the nanoparticle surface, validating the developed core–shell model. We also highlight its limit when measuring nanoparticles of smaller size and the need to use several complementary methods when characterising nanoparticle corona complexes.


FP7, NanoSolutions 309329

FP7 Namdiatream 246479

H2020 Biorima 760928

Cluster of Excellence ‘Advanced Imaging of Matter’ of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)—EXC 2056—project ID 39071599

EU FP7 FutureNanoNeeds project (NMP/2013/1.3-3) Grant Agreement No. 604602

Kidscan reg. charity no. 1094946

Irish Research Council: Embark scheme (RS/2011/106)

Xunta de Galicia Centro singular de investigación de Galicia accreditation 2019–2022, ED431G2019/03

Xunta de Galicia Grupo de Referencia Competitiva ED431C 2018/26

RyC program (Grant Agreement RyC-2017-23457)

RCSI (StAR programme)



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Perez-Potti A, et al. In depth characterisation of the biomolecular coronas of polymer coated inorganic nanoparticles with differential centrifugal sedimentation. Sci Rep. 2021 Mar 11(1):6443.

Publication Date

19 March 2021

PubMed ID



  • Chemistry
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Vascular Biology
  • Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine


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  • Published Version (Version of Record)