Protein nano- and microparticles


Protein molecules are excellent building blocks for nanoparticle synthesis, because they are non-toxic, biodegradable and contain diverse functional groups suitable for cross-linking and functionalization. Protein nanoparticles can entrap various compounds including drugs or luminescent tracers, which makes them promising tools in drug delivery and bioimaging.


Our research group takes advantage of protein nanoparticles in the field of in vitro diagonstics. We work with albumin and gelatin nanoparticles synthesized by desolvation method. The method involves addition of water-miscible organic solvent to a protein solution. At a certain concentration of poor solvent solubility of protein decreases and its molecules assemble into round-shaped nano- or microparticles, which size depends on pH, ionic strength, protein concentration, nature of solvent, and so on. Various labeles (enzymes, quantum dots, luminescent molecules, nanozymes, magnetic tags) can be added to the reaction medium and encapsulated in the nanoparticles endowing them with desirable properties. Functional groups of protein molecules (sulfhydryl, amino, carboxyl, and hydroxyl) serve as sites for covalent attachement of recognition molecules such as monolonal antibodies or streptavidin. In this way, single nanoparticle can be loaded with multiple labels and bind target analyte via biospecific interactions provided by surface monoclonal antibodies. These properties together with excellent colloidal stability makes them good candidate for application as labels in immunoassays.



  • We synthesized gelatin and albumin nanoparticles loaded with fluorescent europium complexes and nanozymes and apllied these nanoparticles in immunoassays of the tumor marker prostate-specific antigen and antibodies against tetanus.

  • We developed simplified version of desolvation method for preparation of gelatin nanoparticles from gelatin of various types (see video)

  • We investigated and optimized some technological aspects of protein nanoparticles synthesis 


What we do now

  • We develop the method of gelatin microparticles preparation which is based on desolvation method and do not require water-in-oil emulsions

  • We optimize synthesis of albumin nanoparticles labelled with europium complexes for diagnostic applications



Khramtsov, P.; Burdina, O.; Lazarev, S.; Novokshonova, A.; Bochkova, M.; Timganova, V.; Kiselkov, D.; Minin, A.; Zamorina, S.; Rayev, M. Modified Desolvation Method Enables Simple One-Step Synthesis of Gelatin Nanoparticles from Different Gelatin Types with Any Bloom Values. Pharmaceutics 2021, 13, 1537.


Khramtsov, P.; Kropaneva, M.; Bochkova, M.; Timganova, V.; Kiselkov, D.; Zamorina, S.; Rayev, M. Synthesis and Application of Albumin Nanoparticles Loaded with Prussian Blue Nanozymes. Colloids Interfaces 2022, 6, 29.


Khramtsov, P., Kalashnikova, T., Bochkova, M., Kropaneva, M., Timganova, V., Zamorina, S., & Rayev, M. (2021). Measuring the concentration of protein nanoparticles synthesized by desolvation method: Comparison of Bradford assay, BCA assay, hydrolysis/UV spectroscopy and gravimetric analysis. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 599, 120422.