Effects of the protein corona on liposome-liposome and liposome-cell interactions

Claudia Corbo, Roberto Molinaro, Francesca Taraballi, Naama E. Toledano Furman, Michael B. Sherman, Alessandro Parodi, Francesco Salvatore, Ennio Tasciotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A thorough understanding of interactions occurring at the interface between nanocarriers and biological systems is crucial to predict and interpret their biodistribution, targeting, and efficacy, and thus design more effective drug delivery systems. Upon intravenous injection, nanoparticles are coated by a protein corona (PC). This confers a new biological identity on the particles that largely determines their biological fate. Liposomes have great pharmaceutical versatility, so, as proof of concept, their PC has recently been implicated in the mechanism and efficiency of their internalization into the cell. In an attempt to better understand the interactions between nanocarriers and biological systems, we analyzed the plasma proteins adsorbed on the surface of multicomponent liposomes. Specifically, we analyzed the physical properties and ultrastructure of liposome/PC complexes and the aggregation process that occurs when liposomes are dispersed in plasma. The results of combined confocal microscopy and flow cytometry experiments demonstrated that the PC favors liposome internalization by both macrophages and tumor cells. This work provides insights into the effects of the PC on liposomes’ physical properties and, consequently, liposome-liposome and liposome-cell interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3049-3063
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
StatePublished - Jul 4 2016


  • Cancer cells
  • Liposomes
  • Macrophages
  • Protein corona

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of the protein corona on liposome-liposome and liposome-cell interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this