Biophysical Interactions Between Silver Nanoparticle-Albumin Interface and Curcumin

J Pharm Anal. 2020 Apr;10(2):164-177. doi: 10.1016/j.jpha.2020.02.004. Epub 2020 Feb 20.


Active targeted drug delivery methods facilitate effective uptake of functionalized nanoparticles through receptor-mediated transcytosis. In recent years, albumin-nanoparticle interaction has been critically examined so that this functionalized nanoparticle can be efficiently loaded with drugs. The present investigation aims at understanding the adsorption of Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) on Silver Nanoparticle (SNP) surface, preparation of soft conjugates (SC) and hard conjugates (HC) of BSA-functionalized SNP (SNP-BSA), and their interaction with curcumin (CUR). HC contains tightly bound BSA whereas SC involves tightly and loosely bound BSA. Increase in the hydrodynamic radii of conjugates was observed upon SNP incubation with increased concentration of BSA. Three different SNP-BSA conjugate ratios were selected to study their interaction with CUR. Fluorescence spectroscopy showed a strong association between CUR and SNP:BSA conjugates. However, binding varied with a change in the conjugate ratio. Circular Dichroism (CD)/Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy revealed the alterations in the secondary structure of BSA upon CUR binding to the conjugates. Zeta potential data indicated stable conjugate formation. CUR in SNP:BSA conjugate was found to have a higher half-life as compared to the control. We believe that this is the first biophysical characterization report of conjugates that can be effectively extrapolated for targeted drug delivery.

Keywords: Bovine serum albumin; CUR; Hard conjugates; Silver nanoparticles; Soft conjugates; Spectroscopy.