Inorganic materials are receiving significant interest in medicine given their usefulness for therapeutic applications such as targeted drug delivery, carriers of active pharmaceutical and medical imaging. However, the poor knowledge of the side effects related to their use is an obstacle to their clinical translation. For the molecular drug development, safe-by-design has become as a novel pharmaceutical strategy that allows a reduction of the costs and an acceleration of the translation of research to market. In the case of materials, the application of such approaches is hampered by a poor knowledge of how the physical and chemical properties of the material trigger biological response. Hemocompatibility is a crucial factor for those materials that are intended for medical applications. In particular, the formation of agglomerates is a serious side effect that may induce occlusion of blood vessels and thrombotic events. Additionally, nanoparticles can interfere with the coagulation cascades where they have been reported to induce both pro- and anti-coagulant properties where their properties like size, shape and surface charge have been see to be critical parameters. Here, we developed two sets of tailored carbon and silica nano/submicron-particles with three different sizes (100-500 nm) with the purpose of investigating the role of surface curvature and chemistry on platelet aggregation, activation and adhesion. We show that that large carbon nanoparticles, but not small carbon nanoparticles or silica nanoparticles, have a strong tendency to form aggregates both in plasma and blood, as a consequence of the formation of a protein corona and not of platelets activation. Substantial differences were found in the composition of the protein corona depending upon the chemical nature of the nanoparticles, while the surface curvature plays a minor role. On the other hand, coagulation proteins were abundant in the corona of both silica and carbon nanoparticles. The results presented herein suggest that vessel occlusion and formation of thrombi in vivo may occur through independent mode of action (MoA), differently affected by the physico-chemical properties of the materials.
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