Exploring the interaction of polystyrene nanoplastics and blood plasma proteins

phys.org | 8/31/2016 | Staff
Celtics2212 (Posted by) Level 3
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Collaborative research at ANSTO led by Mr Shinji Kihara and A/Prof. Duncan McGillivray of The MacDiarmid Institute, New Zealand with ANSTO's Dr. Jitendra Mata, scientists from the University of Auckland and A/Prof Ingo Köper from Flinders University, SA , is contributing to a better understanding of how nanoplastics interact with blood plasma proteins and other biological molecules within the body.

The motivation for this study, which was recently published in Bioconjugate Chemistry, arose from concerns regarding the increasing quantities of plastic waste in the environment.

Nature - Plastics - Breakdown - Minute - Particles

In nature, these plastics undergo physical and chemical breakdown processes to form minute particles on the micro- and nanometer scale.

Studies on the toxicology of engineered nanoparticles have suggested that these particles gain easy access and mobility within the body, often side-stepping important biological barriers and defence mechanisms against foreign bodies. Unlike the engineered nanoparticles used in biomedical applications, however, the potential effects and interactions of these nanoplastics are not well-understood.

Toxicity - Nanoparticles - Properties - Nanoparticles - Body

The toxicity of nanoparticles is directly linked to its physical and chemical properties. When nanoparticles enter the body, they are surrounded by layers of proteins, which is known as a "corona." Loosely-bound proteins form a "soft corona," while tightly bound proteins form a "hard corona."

With a model system of polystyrene nanoparticles and human serum albumin (HSA) protein, the investigators used a range of techniques to determine the size, composition and geometry of the polystyrene nanoparticle-protein corona complex.

HSA - Abundance - Nanoparticles - Sizes - Size

HSA was selected due to its natural abundance, while positively and negatively charged nanoparticles, of two different sizes, were used to assess how particle size influenced the formation of the corona in solution under different pH conditions....
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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