Biocompatibility assessment of silk nanoparticles: hemocompatibility and internalization by human blood cells

Manfred F. Maitz, Claudia Sperling, Thidarat Wongpinyochit, Manuela Herklotz, Carsten Werner, F. Philipp Seib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


Many nanoparticles are designed for use as potential nanomedicines for parenteral administration. However, emerging evidence suggests that hemocompatibility is important, but is highly particle- and test-bed dependent. Thus, knowledge of bulk material properties does not predict the hemocompatibility of uncharacterized nanoparticles, including silk nanoparticles. This study compares the hemocompatibility of silk versus silica nanoparticles, using whole human blood under quasi-static and flow conditions. Substantial hemocompatibility differences are noted for some nanoparticles in quasi-static versus dynamic studies; i.e., the inflammatory response to silk nanoparticles is significantly lower under flow versus quasi-static conditions. Silk nanoparticles also have very low coagulant properties - an observation that scales from the macro- to the nano-level. These nanoparticle hemocompatibility studies are complemented by preliminary live cell measurements to evaluate the endocytosis and trafficking of nanoparticles in human blood cells. Overall, this study demonstrates that nanoparticle hemocompatibility is affected by several factors, including the test bed design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2633-2642
Number of pages10
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine
Issue number8
Early online date27 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2017


  • silk
  • fibroin
  • silica
  • blood compatibility
  • nanoparticles
  • nanomedicine


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