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The formation of a protein layer "corona" on the nanoparticle surface upon entry into a biological environment was shown to strongly influence the interactions with cells, especially affecting the uptake of nanomedicines. In this work, we present the impact of the protein corona on the uptake of PEGylated zein micelles by cancer cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. Zein was successfully conjugated with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) of varying chain lengths (5K and 10K) and assembled into micelles. Our results demonstrate that PEGylation conferred stealth effects to the zein micelles. The presence of human plasma did not impact the uptake levels of the micelles by melanoma cancer cells, regardless of the PEG chain length used. In contrast, it decreased the uptake by macrophages and dendritic cells. These results therefore make PEGylated zein micelles promising as potential drug delivery systems for cancer therapy.


© 2022 by the authors.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Immunology and Microbiology



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