Promotion of dispersion and anticancer efficacy of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles by the adsorption of fetal bovine serum

Yi Sun, David Devore, Xiaoyu Ma, Yuan Yuan, Joachim Kohn, Jianchao Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The biocompatibility and anticancer effect of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (HAPNs) are compelling and promising in cancer nanomedicine. However, the essential role of fetal bovine serum (FBS) in a biological environment possibly determining the state of agglomeration and intracellular fate of HAPNs (length: ~ 60 nm; width: ~ 20 nm) has never been studied. Here, we investigated the importance of FBS in agglomeration and cell response of HAPNs in human osteosarcoma MG-63 cells. Protein adsorption on the surface of HAPNs after mixing with different concentrations of FBS was confirmed using transmission electron microscope (TEM), attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D), and thermogravimetric analysis (TG). The adsorption of serum protein improved dispersed state and stabilization of HAPNs, which was evidenced by dynamic light scattering (DLS), inverted microscope, and scanning electron microscope (SEM). More specifically, the agglomerate size of HAPNs in cell culture medium without FBS was above 1400 nm, while the agglomerate size of HAPNs with 10% FBS was decreased to about 200 nm and maintained for at least five days. Meanwhile, serum protein adsorption on HAPN surface enhanced cellular uptake and anticancer efficacy of HAPNs in MG-63 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number267
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • Agglomeration
  • Cellular uptake
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Fetal bovine serum
  • Hydroxyapatite nanoparticles
  • Nanomedicine


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