The understanding of complement activation by nanomaterials is a key to a rational design of safe and efficient nanomedicines. This work proposed a systematic study investigating how molecular design of nanoparticle coronas made of dextran impacts on mechanisms that trigger complement activation. The nanoparticles used for this work consisted of dextran-coated poly(isobutylcyanoacrylate) (PIBCA) nanoparticles have already been thoroughly characterized. Their different capacity to trigger complement activation established on the cleavage of the protein C3 was also already described making these nanoparticles good models to investigate the relation between the molecular feature of their corona and the mechanism by which they triggered complement activation. Results of this new study show that complement activation pathways can be selected by distinct architectures formed by dextran chains composing the nanoparticle corona. Assumptions that explain the relation between complement activation mechanisms triggered by the nanoparticles and the nanoparticle corona molecular feature were proposed. These results are of interest to better understand how the design of dextran-coated nanomaterials will impact interactions with the complement system. It can open perspectives with regard to the selection of a preferential complement activation pathway or prevent the nanoparticles to activate the complement system, based on a rational choice of the corona configuration.