Coating nanoparticles with tunable surfactants facilitates control over the protein corona

J. Müller, K. N. Bauer, D. Prozeller, J. Simon, V. Mailänder, F. R. Wurm, S. Winzen*, K. Landfester*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoparticles with long blood circulation time are a prerequisite for targeted drug delivery. To make the nanoparticles invisible for phagocytizing cells, functional moieties on the particle surface are believed to be necessary to attract specific so-called ‘stealth’ proteins forming a protein ‘corona’. Currently, covalent attachment of those moieties represents the only way to achieve that attraction. However, that approach requires a high synthetic effort and is difficult to control. Therefore, we present the coating of model nanoparticles with biodegradable polymeric surfactants as an alternative method. The thermodynamic parameters of the coating process can be tuned by adjusting the surfactants' block lengths and hydrophilicity. Consequently, the unspecific protein adsorption and aggregation tendency of the particles can be controlled, and stealth proteins inhibiting cell uptake are enriched on their surface. This non-covalent approach could be applied to any particle type and thus facilitates tuning the protein corona and its biological impact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Isothermal titration calorimetry
  • Nanoparticles
  • Poly(phosphoester)s
  • Protein corona
  • Stealth effect
  • Surfactant


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