Nanoparticles In the Human Body: Blood Plasma Proteins Binding on Titanium Dioxide

How to Apply

Interested in participating in this research project? Contact the professor or graduate student listed below.


Dr. Nita Sahai (Polymer Science) |

Graduate Student

Jiadong Chen |

Project Description

Nanoparticles (NPs) are used widely in cosmetics and for drug delivery and thus come in contact with blood and other fluids in the body. NPs present in biological fluids rapidly interact with proteins, which undergo structural changes upon binding to the NPs. These conformational (structural) changes of the protein determine the biological responses, such as blood clotting, of the NPs in the living system. Previous studies have shown that size and shape of metal oxide NPs affect protein adsorption. In this project, hexagonal titanium dioxide (rutile) NPs (<100 nm) are used to synthesize nanotubes (NTs) and nanorods (NRs), and the protein adsorption on these NPs are studied in terms of binding affinity and conformation, which can be determined by mass depletion method and circular dichroism, respectively. If the conformation does not change signficantly upon adsorption to the NPs, these proteins may have the effect of inducing undesirable blood clotting. These relationships between adsorption, conformational change and potential blood clotting effects are under investigation.

Project Date

Summer 2020

Search Terms

Biomedical, Biophysics, Biochemistry, STEM