Dendrimer and dendrimer-conjugate protein complexes and protein coronas

Junjie Chen, Mark M. Banaszak Holl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Dendrimers and dendrimer conjugates are widely employed for biological applications such as bio-imaging and drug delivery. Understanding the interaction between dendrimers and their biological environment is key to evaluating the efficacy and safety of these materials. Proteins can form an adsorbed layer, termed a "protein corona", on dendrimers in either a non-specific or specific fashion. A tight-binding, non-exchangeable corona is defined as a "hard" corona, whereas a loosely bound, highly exchangeable corona is called a "soft" corona. Recent research indicates that small molecules conjugated to the polymer surface can induce protein structural change, leading to tighter protein-dendrimer binding and further protein aggregation. This "triggered" corona formation on dendrimer and dendrimer conjugates is reviewed and discussed along with the existing hard or soft corona model. This review describes the triggered corona model to further the understanding of protein corona formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-906
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggregation
  • Conjugate
  • Corona
  • Dendrimer
  • Protein

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