Physicochemical signatures of nanoparticle-dependent complement activation

Dennis G. Thomas, Satish Chikkagoudar, Alejandro Heredia-Langner, Mark F. Tardiff, Zhixiang Xu, Dennis E. Hourcade, Christine T.N. Pham, Gregory M. Lanza, Kilian Q. Weinberger, Nathan A. Baker

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Nanoparticles are potentially powerful therapeutic tools that have the capacity to target drug payloads and imaging agents. However, some nanoparticles can activate complement, a branch of the innate immune system, and cause adverse side-effects. Recently, we employed an in vitro hemolysis assay to measure the serum complement activity of perfluorocarbon nanoparticles that differed by size, surface charge, and surface chemistry, quantifying the nanoparticle-dependent complement activity using a metric called Residual Hemolytic Activity (RHA). In the present work, we have used a decision tree learning algorithm to derive the rules for estimating nanoparticle-dependent complement response based on the data generated from the hemolytic assay studies. Our results indicate that physicochemical properties of nanoparticles, namely, size, polydispersity index, zeta potential, and mole percentage of the active surface ligand of a nanoparticle, can serve as good descriptors for prediction of nanoparticle-dependent complement activation in the decision tree modeling framework.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015003
JournalComputational Science and Discovery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • immunology
  • nanoinformatics
  • nanotechnology
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    Thomas, D. G., Chikkagoudar, S., Heredia-Langner, A., Tardiff, M. F., Xu, Z., Hourcade, D. E., Pham, C. T. N., Lanza, G. M., Weinberger, K. Q., & Baker, N. A. (2014). Physicochemical signatures of nanoparticle-dependent complement activation. Computational Science and Discovery, 7(1), [015003].