Protein corona formation around biocatalytic nanomotors unveiled by STORM

20 October 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The interaction of nanoparticles with biological media is a topic of general interest for drug delivery systems and among those for active nanoparticles, also called nanomotors. Herein, we report the use of super resolu-tion microscopy, in particular stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), to characterize the formation of protein corona around active enzyme-powered nanomotors. First, we characterize the distribu-tion and number of enzymes on nano-sized particles and characterized their motion capabilities. Then, we incubated the nanomotors with fluorescently labelled serum proteins. Interestingly, we observed a signifi-cant decrease of protein corona formation (20 %) and different composition, which was studied by a proteo-mic analysis. Moreover, motion was not hindered, as nanomotors displayed an enhanced diffusion regardless of protein corona. Elucidating how active particles interact with biological media and maintain their self-propulsion after protein corona formation will pave the way of the use these systems in complex biological fluids in biomedicine.


Enzyme-powered nanomotors
protein corona

Supplementary materials

Supporting information for Protein corona formation around biocatalytic nanomotors unveiled by STORM
Experimental section Supporting figure 1: calibration of urease localizations by STORM. Supporting figure 2: STORM images on the distribution of urease around nanomotors. Supporting figure 3: Heatmap of the significant differences on protein corona composition around nanomotors.


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