Analysis of lipid adsorption on nanoparticles by nanoflow liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

Ju Yong Lee, Hua Wang, Georgios Pyrgiotakis, Glen M. DeLoid, Zhenyuan Zhang, Juan Beltran-Huarac, Philip Demokritou, Wenwan Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Nanoparticles (NPs) tend to adsorb matrix molecules like proteins and lipids incubated with biological fluids, forming a biological corona. While the formation and functions of protein corona have been studied extensively, little attention has been paid to lipid adsorption on NPs. However, lipids are also abundantly present in biological fluids and play important roles in processes like cell signaling and angiogenesis. Therefore, in this study, we established the analytical procedure for study of lipid adsorption on three different types of NPs in two matrices: human serum and heavy cream, using nanoflow liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (nanoflowLC-MS). Serum was chosen to represent the common environment the NPs would be present once entering human body, and heavy cream was the representative food matrix NPs may be added to improve the color or taste. Steps of liquid-liquid extraction were established and optimized to achieve maximum recovery of the adsorbed, standard lipids from the NPs. Then, the LC-MS/MS method was developed to attain base-line separation of the standard lipids that represent the major lipid classes. At last, the lipid adsorption profiles of the three NPs were compared. We found that the lipid adsorption profile on the same type of NP was significantly different between the two matrices. The established method will help us investigate lipid adsorption on additional NPs and reveal how it could be affected by the physiochemical properties of NPs and the presence of proteins and other components in the biological matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6155-6164
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


  • Cellulose nanofibrils
  • Heavy cream
  • LC-MS/MS
  • Lipid adsorption
  • Polystyrene nanoparticle
  • Serum
  • TiO nanoparticle


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