The current gold standard to reduce non-specific cellular uptake of drug delivery vehicles is by covalent attachment of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). It is thought that PEG can reduce protein adsorption and thereby confer a stealth effect. Here, we show that polystyrene nanocarriers that have been modified with PEG or poly(ethyl ethylene phosphate) (PEEP) and exposed to plasma proteins exhibit a low cellular uptake, whereas those not exposed to plasma proteins show high non-specific uptake. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that exposed nanocarriers formed a protein corona that contains an abundance of clusterin proteins (also known as apolipoprotein J). When the polymer-modified nanocarriers were incubated with clusterin, non-specific cellular uptake could be reduced. Our results show that in addition to reducing protein adsorption, PEG, and now PEEPs, can affect the composition of the protein corona that forms around nanocarriers, and the presence of distinct proteins is necessary to prevent non-specific cellular uptake.