Scientific publications

Prussian Blue nanoparticles: An FDA-approved substance that may quickly degrade at physiological pH

Jul 14, 2023 | Magazine: Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces

Lavinia Doveri 1, Giacomo Dacarro 2, Yuri Antonio Diaz Fernandez 3, Matteo Razzetti 4, Angelo Taglietti 5, Giuseppe Chirico 6, Maddalena Collini 7, Ioritz Sorzabal-Bellido 8, Maider Esparza 9, Carlos Ortiz-de-Solorzano 10, Xabier Morales Urteaga 11, Chiara Milanese 12, Piersandro Pallavicini 13


Prussian blue (PB) is a coordination polymer based on the Fe2+…CN…Fe3+ sequence. It is an FDA-approved drug, intended for oral use at the acidic pH of the stomach and of most of the intestine track. However, based on FDA approval, a huge number of papers proposed the use of PB nanoparticles (PBnp) under "physiological conditions", meaning pH buffered at 7.4 and high saline concentration. While most of these papers report that PBnp are stable at this pH, a small number of papers describes instead PBnp degradation at the same or similar pH values, i.e. in the 7-8 range. Here we give a definitively clear picture: PBnp are intrinsically unstable at pH ≥ 7, degrading with the fast disappearance of their 700 nm absorption band, due to the formation of OH- complexes from the labile Fe3+ centers. However, we show also that the presence of a polymeric coating (PVP) can protect PBnp at pH 7.4 for over 24 h.

Moreover, we demonstrate that when "physiological conditions" include serum, a protein corona is rapidly formed on PBnp, efficiently avoiding degradation. We also show that the viability of PBnp-treated EA.hy926, NCI-H1299, and A549 cells is not affected in a wide range of conditions that either prevent or promote PBnp degradation.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2023 Jul:227:113373. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2023.113373. Epub 2023 May 26.

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