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Immunoglobulin deposition on biomolecule corona determines complement opsonization efficiency of preclinical and clinical nanoparticles

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Moein MoghimiORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Nature Publishing Group, 2019.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2019, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. Deposition of complement factors (opsonization) on nanoparticles may promote clearance from the blood by macrophages and trigger proinflammatory responses, but the mechanisms regulating the efficiency of complement activation are poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that opsonization of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoworms with the third complement protein (C3) was dependent on the biomolecule corona of the nanoparticles. Here we show that natural antibodies play a critical role in C3 opsonization of SPIO nanoworms and a range of clinically approved nanopharmaceuticals. The dependency of C3 opsonization on immunoglobulin binding is almost universal and is observed regardless of the complement activation pathway. Only a few surface-bound immunoglobulin molecules are needed to trigger complement activation and opsonization. Although the total amount of plasma proteins adsorbed on nanoparticles does not determine C3 deposition efficiency, the biomolecule corona per se enhances immunoglobulin binding to all nanoparticle types. We therefore show that natural antibodies represent a link between biomolecule corona and C3 opsonization, and may determine individual complement responses to nanomedicines.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vu VP, Gifford GB, Chen F, Benasutti H, Wang G, Groman EV, Scheinman R, Saba L, Moghimi SM, Simberg D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nature Nanotechnology

Year: 2019

Volume: 14

Pages: 260-268

Online publication date: 14/01/2019

Acceptance date: 05/12/2018

Date deposited: 07/12/2020

ISSN (print): 1748-3387

ISSN (electronic): 1748-3395

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s41565-018-0344-3


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