Highly efficient human serum filtration with Water-soluble nanoporous nanoparticles

Antonella Pujia, Francesco de Angelis, Domenica Scumaci, Marco Gaspari, Carlo Liberale, Patrizio Candeloro, Giovanni Cuda, Enzo di Fabrizio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Human serum has the potential to become the most informative source of novel biomarkers, but its study is very difficult due to the incredible complexity of its molecular composition. We describe a novel tool based on biodegradable nanoporous nanoparticles (NPNPs) that allows the harvesting of low-molecular-weight fractions of crude human serum or other biofluids. NPNPs with a diameter of 200 nm and pore size of a few nm were obtained by ultrasonication of nanoporous silicon. When incubated with a solution, the NPNPs harvest only the molecules small enough to be absorbed into the nanopores. Then they can be recovered by centrifugation and dissolved in water, making the harvested molecules available for further analyses. Results: Fluorescence microscopy, gel electrophoresis, and mass spectrometry were used to show the enrichment of low-molecular-weight fraction of serum under physiological conditions, with a cut-off of 13 kDa and an enrichment factor > 50. Conclusion: From these findings, we conclude that ability to tune pore size, combined with the availability of hundreds of biomolecule cross-linkers, opens up new perspectives on complex biofluid analysis, discovery of biomarkers, and in situ drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1015
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Nanomedicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarker discovery
  • Harvesting
  • Human serum proteomics
  • Nanoparticle
  • Nanoporous silicon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


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