Profiling of nanoparticle–protein interactions by electrophoresis techniques

  • Mohammad Zarei
  • Jamal Aalaie


The use of nanomaterials in the chemical, biomedical, and biotechnological sciences is growing, increasing the possible release of these materials into the environment and contact with living organisms. Because of their large surface area, biomolecules can be adsorbed on the surface of nanomaterials. Proteins bind to the surface of nanoparticles (NPs), forming a biological layer around the NP, the “protein corona,” which gives new characteristics to the NPs in biological milieu and may affect biomedical applications or induce nanotoxicological effects. Therefore, the development of analytical tools for identification of NP protein corona behavior is essential. Techniques such as spectroscopy, chromatography, calorimetry, and electrophoresis have been used to investigate the interaction of NPs with proteins. This review describes recent developments in the application of electrophoresis techniques for profiling of NP–protein interactions. Further, we provide an overview of directions and challenges in the application of electrophoresis methods for the investigation of NP–protein structures.

Graphical abstract


Separation Electrophoresis Mass spectrometry Protein corona Nanoparticle 



Complement component 3


Circular dichroism


Capillary electrophoresis


Difference gel electrophoresis


Inductively coupled plasma


Isothermal titration calorimetry


Liquid chromatography


Mass spectrometry


Tandem mass spectrometry


Nuclear magnetic resonance




Poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride)


Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


Poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate)


Sodium dodecyl sulfate


Stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture


Superparamagnetic iron oxide


Surface plasmon resonance


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical, Polymer & Petrochemical Technology Development Research DivisionResearch Institute of Petroleum IndustryTehranIran

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