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Articles by Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu in JoVE

 JoVE Immunology and Infection

Antigens Protected Functional Red Blood Cells By The Membrane Grafting Of Compact Hyperbranched Polyglycerols

1Centre for Blood Research, University of British Columbia, 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, 3Canadian Blood Services, University of British Columbia, 4Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences Centre, University of British Columbia


JoVE 50075

The cell membrane modification of red blood cells (RBCs) with hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG) is presented. Modified RBCs were characterized by aqueous two phase partitioning, osmotic fragility and complement mediated lysis. The camouflage of surface proteins and antigens was evaluated using the flow cytometry and Micro Typing System (MTS) blood phenotyping cards.

Other articles by Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu on PubMed

Nanoparticles from Cationic Copolymer and DNA That Are Soluble and Stable in Common Organic Solvents

DNA by virtue of its superlative ability to self-assemble has found use beyond biological research in the design and fabrication of nanomaterials. However, developing novel DNA-based materials for chemical applications might be restricted due to the insoluble nature of DNA in most common organic solvents. In this Communication, we are reporting the first demonstration of making DNA soluble in a variety of nonbiological solvents such as acetonitrile, benzene, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), and tetrahydrofuran with the help of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based cationic random copolymers. Because of complex formation between cationic copolymer and anionic DNA, nanoparticles are formed. These nanoparticles are expected to exhibit micelle-like structures with a nanometric core of cationic units neutralized by phosphate anions of DNA, surrounded by a shell of PEG segments. As PEG is soluble in the organic solvents used in this study, nanoparticles are stable in these solvents, making entrapped DNA soluble in these organic solvents.

Evaluation of an Atomic Force Microscopy Pull-off Method for Measuring Molecular Weight and Polydispersity of Polymer Brushes: Effect of Grafting Density

The accuracy of the molecular weights Mn and polydispersities of polymer brushes, determined by stretching the grafted chains using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and measuring the contour length distribution, was evaluated as a function of grafting density sigma. Poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) brushes were prepared by surface initiated atom transfer radical polymerization on latex particles with sigma ranging between 0.17 and 0.0059 chains/nm2 and constant Mn. The polymer, which could be cleaved from the grafting surface by hydrolysis and characterized by gel permeation chromatography (GPC), had a Mn of 30,600 and polydispersity (PDI) of 1.35. The Mn determined by the AFM technique for the higher density brushes agreed quite well with the GPC results but was significantly underestimated for the lower sigma. At high grafting density in good solvent, the extended structure of the brush increases the probability of forming segment-tip contacts located at the chain end. When the distance between chains approached twice the radius of gyration of the polymer, the transition from brush to mushroom structure presumably enabled the formation of a larger number of segment-tip contacts having separations smaller than the contour length, which explains the discrepancy between the two methods at low sigma. The PDI was typically higher than that obtained by GPC, suggesting that sampling of chains with above average contour length occurs at a frequency that is greater than their spatial distribution.

Water-soluble Complexes from Random Copolymer and Oppositely Charged Surfactant. 2. Complexes of Poly(ethylene Glycol)-based Cationic Random Copolymer and Bile Salts

The complexes formed between the positively charged random copolymers (RCPs) of methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol) monomethacrylate (MePEGMA) and (3-(methacryloylamino)propyl)trimethylammonium chloride (MAPTAC) with oppositely charged biosurfactants (bile salts) were studied using turbidimetric titration, steady-state fluorescence, dynamic light scattering, and electron microscopy. Studies showed that the complexes of the RCPs of MAPTAC and MePEGMA with less than 68 mol % of PEG content precipitate in water, whereas the complexes of the copolymer with 89 and 94 mol % of PEG content do not precipitate in the entire range of composition of the mixture including stoichiometric compositions when the electroneutral complexes are formed. The complexes with true hydrophobic domains, which are a prerequisite characteristic to serve as a carrier, can be obtained at much lower concentration than the critical micelle concentration of the corresponding surfactant. For a particular surfactant, hydrophobic domains are obtained at lower Z-/+ for the random copolymer with lower PEG content. The hydrodynamic radii of these complexes vary over a range of 20-35 nm. Overall results reveal that these complexes are qualitatively similar to the polyion complex micelles or block ionomer complexes obtained from the block copolymers and oppositely charged surfactants. As the surfactants used in this study are biocompatible, we hope that these soluble particles will be promising vectors in the field of drug delivery.

Plasma Protein Adsorption to Surfaces Grafted with Dense Homopolymer and Copolymer Brushes Containing Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)

Growing polymer chains from surface initiators in principle allows much more dense polymer surface layers to be created than can be produced by grafting of whole (self-excluding) chains. We have utilized aqueous atom transfer radical polymerization to graft a series of cleavable hydrophilic poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) homopolymers and block copolymers of substituted acrylamides from polystyrene latex to give brushes of controlled MW and surface density. Average chain separations much less than their free solution radii of gyration have been achieved. Exposure to radiolabeled single proteins or to whole plasma and subsequent analysis by SDS-PAGE shows that PNIPAM brushes decrease protein adsorption relative to the latex surface or other substituted polyacrylamides. The PNIPAM brushes exhibit a second-order phase transition around 30 degrees C as reflected by a decrease in the hydrodynamic thickness of the brush at higher temperatures. Total plasma protein adsorption is increased at 40 degrees C compared to 20 degrees C but there is significant differential adsorption behavior among the proteins detected by gel-electrophoresis analysis.

Attractive Bridging Interactions in Dense Polymer Brushes in Good Solvent Measured by Atomic Force Microscopy

Using an atomic force microscope (AFM), we have investigated the interaction forces exerted by latex particles bearing densely grafted polymer brushes consisting of poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) (PDMA), poly(methoxyethylacrylamide) (PMEA), poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM), and PMEA-b-PNIPAM in aqueous media (good solvent). The brushes were prepared by controlled surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization, and the hydrodynamic thicknesses were measured by dynamic light scattering. The molecular weight (Mn), grafting density (sigma), and polydispersity (PDI) of the brushes were determined by gel permeation chromatography and multiangle laser light scattering after cleaving the polymer from the latex surface by hydrolysis. Force profiles of PDMA (0.017 nm(-2) < or = sigma < or = 0.17 nm-2) and PMEA (sigma = 0.054 nm-2) brushes were purely repulsive upon compression, with forces increasing with Mn and a, as expected, due to excluded volume interactions. At a sufficiently low grafting density (sigma = 0.012 nm-2), PDMA exhibited a long-range exponentially increasing attractive force followed by repulsion upon further compression. The long-range attractive force is believed to be due to bridging between the free chain ends and the AFM tip. The PNIPAM brush exhibited a bridging force at a grafting density of 0.037 nm(-2), a value lower than the sigma needed to induce bridging in the PDMA brush. Bridging was therefore found to depend on grafting density as well as on the nature of the monomer. The grafting densities of these polymers were larger than those typically associated with bridging. Bridging interactions were used to confirm the presence of PNIPAM in a block copolymer PMEA-b-PNIPAMA brush given that the original PMEA homopolymer brush produced a purely repulsive force. The attractive force was first detected in the block copolymer brush at a separation that increased with the length of the PNIPAM block.

Complexes of Poly(ethylene Glycol)-based Cationic Random Copolymer and Calf Thymus DNA: a Complete Biophysical Characterization

Complete biophysical characterization of complexes (polyplexes) of cationic polymers and DNA is needed to understand the mechanism underlying nonviral therapeutic gene transfer. In this article, we propose a new series of synthesized random cationic polymers (RCPs) from methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) monomethacrylate (MePEGMA) and (3-(methacryloylamino)propyl)trimethylammonium chloride with different mole ratios (32:68, 11:89, and 6:94) which could be used as a model system to address and answer the basic questions relating to the mechanism of the interaction of calf thymus DNA (CT-DNA) and cationic polymers. The solubility of the complexes of CT-DNA and RCP was followed by turbidity measurements. It has been observed that complexes of RCP with 68 mol % MePEGMA precipitate near the charge neutralization point, whereas complexes of the other two polymers are water-soluble and stable at all compositions. Dnase 1 digestion experiments show that DNA is inaccessible when it forms complexes with RCP. Ethidium bromide exclusion and gel electrophoretic mobility show that both polymers are capable of binding with CT-DNA. Atomic force microscopy images in conjunction with light scattering experiments showed that the complexes are spherical in nature and 75-100 nm in diameter. Circular dichroism spectroscopy studies indicated that the secondary structure of DNA in the complexes is not perturbed due to the presence of poly(ethylene glycol) segments in the polymer. Furthermore, we used a combination of spectroscopic and calorimetric techniques to determine complete thermodynamic profiles accompanying the helix-coil transition of CT-DNA in the complexes. UV and differential scanning calorimetry melting experiments revealed that DNA in the complexes is more stable than in the free state and the extent of stability depends on the polymer composition. Isothermal titration calorimetry experiments showed that the binding of these RCPs to CT-DNA is associated with small exothermic enthalpy changes. A complete thermodynamic profile showed that the RCP/DNA complex formation is entropically favorable. Much broader opportunities to vary the architecture of the polymers studied here make these systems promising in addressing various basic and practical problems in gene delivery systems.

Molecular Weight and Polydispersity Estimation of Adsorbing Polymer Brushes by Atomic Force Microscopy

We have estimated the molecular weight, Mn, and polydispersity, PDI, of densely grafted poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) brushes using a novel atomic force microscopy (AFM) approach. When compression of a polymer brush induced adsorption of multiple chains to an AFM tip, the resulting decompression force profile exhibited a maximum attractive force at a separation, Lm, that decayed to zero with increasing tip-sample separation. We have found that the separation Lm approximates the average contour length, Lc, determined by gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The detection of a decaying attractive force at separations larger than Lc suggests that chains of above average length sequentially break free from the tip as they are stretched away from the grafting surface. The shape of the decompression profile in this region approximately paralleled the cumulative weight fraction of the grafted chains determined by GPC. The fraction of chains of a given molecular weight determined from a single force curve fit a log-normal distribution, having a standard deviation that provided an estimate of the PDI. We have characterized two PNIPAM brushes by this AFM technique as well as by GPC coupled to a multiangle laser light-scattering detector (MALLS). The values obtained by AFM-(1) Mn,AFM = (3.8+/-0.5) x 10(4), PDI,(AFM) = 1.3+/-0.1 and (2) Mn,AFM = (9.4+/-1.4) x 10(4), PDI,(AFM) = 1.3+/-0.1-agreed quite well with the corresponding GPC/MALLS values of (1) Mn,GPC = 4.77 x 10(4), PDI,GPC = 1.33 and (2) Mn,GPC = 9.49 x 10(4), PDI = 1.35. This technique requires only a single force curve to obtain a statistical distribution of contour lengths and provides a novel method for estimating the Mn and PDI of appropriate uniformly grafted dense polymer layers.

Water-soluble Nanoparticles from Random Copolymer and Oppositely Charged Surfactant, 3a. Nanoparticles of Poly(ethylene Glycol)-based Cationic Random Copolymer and Fatty Acid Salts

In this report, we investigate the nanoparticle formation between random copolymers (RCPs) of methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol) monomethacrylate (MePEGMA) and (3-(methacryloylamino)propyl)trimethylammonium chloride (MAPTAC) and oppositely charged natural surfactants, sodium oleate and sodium laurate, using turbidimetric titration, steady-state fluorescence, dynamic light scattering, and electron microscopy. Though sodium oleate and sodium laurate are sparingly soluble in water, the nanoparticle complexes formed between the RCPs and these surfactants are soluble in the entire range of compositions studied here, including the stoichiometric electronetural complexes. The spherical nature of these nanoparticle complexes is revealed by electron microscopic (EM) analysis. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) showed that the average diameters of the nanoparticles are in the range 50 to 150 nm, which is supported by EM analysis. Pyrene fluorescence experiments suggested that these soluble nanoparticles have hydrophobic cores, which may solubilize hydrophobic drug molecules. The polarity index (I(1)/I(3)) obtained from the pyrene fluorescence spectra and the conductometric measurements showed that the critical concentration of fatty acid salts needed to obtain nanoparticles are in the order of 10(-4) M. Further, the complexation of such poorly water-soluble amphiphilic surfactants with polymers offers a useful method for the immobilization of hydrophobic compounds towards water-soluble drug carrier formulations. The formation of water-soluble nanoparticles by the self-assembly of fatty acid salts upon interacting with oppositely charged poly(ethylene glycol)-based polyions.

Water Soluble Nanoparticles from PEG-based Cationic Hyperbranched Polymer and RNA That Protect RNA from Enzymatic Degradation

Recent advances in understanding biological systems have proven that RNA is not merely the carrier of genetic information, but also a key molecule in regulation of gene expression and other crucial metabolic processes. Therefore, it is being considered as an ideal therapeutic candidate both for metabolic and genetic disorders. However, research involving RNA molecules faces a practical limitation since RNA is highly labile. We have developed a novel method to protect RNA from cleavage by complexing it with a hyperbranched cationic polymer. It was found that total cellular RNA isolated from yeast spontaneously interacts with the positively charged polymer to form a spherical nanoparticle morphology. This interaction protects the RNA against enzymatic degradation. This methodology can be easily adapted for long-term storage of RNA, long distance transfer of RNA, and genetic engineering using RNA as a building block.

Blood Compatibility of Novel Water Soluble Hyperbranched Polyglycerol-based Multivalent Cationic Polymers and Their Interaction with DNA

A novel class of hyperbranched polymers based on polyglycerol (PG) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) are synthesized by multibranching anionic ring opening polymerization. Multivalent cationic sites are added to these polymers by a post-amination and quarternization reactions. Blood compatibility studies using these polymers at different concentrations showed insignificant effects on complement activation, platelet activation, coagulation, erythrocyte aggregation and hemolysis compared to branched cationic polyethyleneimine (PEI). The degree of quarternization does not have large influence on the blood compatibility of the new polymers. Cytotoxicity of these polymers is significantly lower than that of PEI and is a function of quarternized nitrogen present in the polymer. Also, these polymers bind DNA in the nanomolar range and are able to condense DNA to highly compact, stable, water soluble nanoparticles in the range of 60-80 nm. Gel electrophoresis studies showed that they form electroneutral complexes with DNA around N/P ratio 1 irrespective of the percentage of quarternization under the conditions studied.

The Influence of Grafted Polymer Architecture and Fluid Hydrodynamics on Protein Separation by Entropic Interaction Chromatography

Entropic interaction chromatography (EIC) provides efficient size-based separation of protein mixtures through the entropy change associated with solute partitioning into a layer of hydrophilic homopolymer that has been end-grafted within the pores of a macroporous chromatography support. In this work, surface-initiated atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) is used to prepare a library of EIC stationary phases covering a wide range of grafted-chain densities and molecular weights. Exhaustive chain cleavage and analysis by saponification and GPC-MALLS, respectively, show that the new ATRP synthesis procedure allows for excellent control over graft molecular weight and polydispersity. The method is used to prepare high-density grafts (up to 0.164 +/- 0.005 chains/nm(2)) that extend the range of EIC applications to include efficient buffer-exchange and desalting of protein preparations. Reducing the graft density allows for greater partitioning of high molecular weight solutes, extending the linear range of the selectivity curve. Increasing graft molecular weight also alters selectivity, but more directly affects column capacity by increasing the volume of the grafted layer. Protein partitioning in high-density EIC columns is found to decrease with mobile-phase velocity (u). Although solute mass transfer resistances leading to an increase in plate height can explain this effect, pressure drop data across the column are indicative of weak convective flow through at least a fraction of the grafted architecture. Modeling of the grafted brush properties in the presence of solvent flow by subjecting a self-consistent-field theory representation of the brush to a viscous shear force predicts that the grafted chains will tilt and elongate in the direction of flow. The shear force may therefore act to reduce the number of conformations available to chains, increasing their rigidity without significantly altering the thickness of the grafted layer. A reduction in protein partitioning is then predicted when the dependence on u of the solute entropy loss is stronger than that of the grafted polymer, a condition met at high graft densities.

Electric Field and Vibration-assisted Nanomolecule Desorption and Anti-biofouling for Biosensor Applications

A novel anti-fouling mechanism based on the combined effects of electric field and shear stress is reported. A lead zirconate titanate (PZT) composite is used to generate an electric field and an acoustic streaming shear stress that increase nanomolecule desorption. In vitro characterization showed that (1) 58+/-5.5% and 39+/-5.2% of adsorbed bovine serum albumin (BSA) proteins can be effectively removed from fired silver and titanium coated PZT plate, respectively; and (2) 43+/-9.7% of the anti-mouse immunoglobulin G (IgG) can be effectively removed from a fired silver coated PZT plate. Theoretical calculations on protein-surface interactions (van der Waals (VDW), electrostatic, and hydrophobic) and shear stress describe the mechanism for protein desorption from model surfaces. We have shown that the applied electric potential is the major contributor in reducing the adhesive force between protein and surface, and the desorbed protein is taken away by acoustic streaming shear stress. We strongly believe that the present method offers the possibility of minimizing nanomolecule adsorption without further surface treatment.

Synthesis of Novel Size Exclusion Chromatography Support by Surface Initiated Aqueous Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization

We report the use of aqueous surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) to grow polymer brushes from a "gigaporous" polymeric chromatography support for use as a novel size exclusion chromatography medium. Poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) (PDMA) was grown from hydrolyzable surface initiators via SI-ATRP catalyzed by 1,1,4,7,10,10-hexamethyltriethylenetetramine (HMTETA)/CuCl. Grafted polymer was characterized semiquantitatively by ATR-FTIR and also cleaved and quantitatively characterized for mass, molecular weight, and polydispersity via analytical SEC/MALLS. The synthesis provides control over graft density and allows the creation of dense brushes. Incorporation of negative surface charge was found to be crucial for improving the initiation efficiency. As polymer molecular weight and density could be controlled through reaction conditions, the resulting low-polydispersity grafted polymer brush medium is shown to be suitable for use as a customizable size exclusion chromatography medium for investigating the principals of entropic interaction chromatography. All packed media investigated showed size-dependent partitioning of solutes, even for low graft density systems. Increasing the molecular weight of the grafts allowed solutes more access to the volume fraction in the column available for partitioning. Compared to low graft density media, increased graft density caused eluted solute probes to be retained less within the column and allowed for greater size discrimination of probes whose molecular weights were less than 10(4) kDa.

Hydrophobically Derivatized Hyperbranched Polyglycerol As a Human Serum Albumin Substitute

There is a huge clinical demand for Human Serum Albumin (HSA), with a world market of approximately $1.5B/year. Concern over prion and viral transmission in the blood supply has led to a need for safer substitutes and offers the opportunity for development of materials with enhanced properties over the presently available plasma expanders. We report here the synthesis and testing of a new synthetic plasma expander that can replace not only the osmotic and volume expansion properties of HSA but, uniquely, its binding and transport properties. We have synthesized several hyperbranched polyglycerols derivatized with hydrophobic groups and short poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chains. The hydrophobic groups provide regions for binding fatty acids and other hydrophobic materials while PEG imparts the necessary protection from host defense systems and enhances circulation longevity. These polymers, being hyperbranched, have only a small effect on plasma viscosity. We have shown in vitro that our materials bind 2-3 moles palmitic acid per mole, do not activate the platelet, coagulation or complement systems and do not cause red cell aggregation. In mice these materials are non-toxic with circulation half-lives as high as 34h, controllable by manipulating the molecular weight and the degree of PEG derivatization.

Self-assembled Monothiol-terminated Hyperbranched Polyglycerols on a Gold Surface: a Comparative Study on the Structure, Morphology, and Protein Adsorption Characteristics with Linear Poly(ethylene Glycol)s

Monothiol-terminated hyperbranched polyglycerols (HPGs) were synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of glycidol from partially deprotonated 2,2'-dihydroxyethane disulfide as the initiator and subsequent reduction of the disulfide group. Two molecular weights of HPG thiols were synthesized. The molecular weights of the polymers were determined by MALDI-TOF analysis, and the presence of thiol was verified by Ellman's assay. The self-assembly of HPG thiols on gold was studied and compared with that of linear poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) thiols utilizing various surface analysis techniques. Monothiol-functionalized HPGs readily adsorbed to a gold surface and formed highly uniform thin films on the surface. The graft density of the HPG layer decreased with an increase in the molecular weight of the polymer. The amount of polymer on the surface increased with increasing incubation concentration and saturated above 6 g/L polymer concentration. Generally, HPG thiols gave lower graft density compared to linear PEG thiols of similar molecular weight. AFM morphological studies showed that HPG thiols form more uniform and smooth surface films compared to PEG thiols. Incubation of a polymer-coated surface (HPG thiols and PEG thiols) with bovine serum albumin and immunoglobulin showed that the high molecular weight hyperbranched polyglycerol was more resistant to protein adsorption than linear PEG of similar molecular weight or lower molecular weight HPG. The protein adsorption decreased with increasing graft density of the HPG chains on the surface. Our results show that HPG could be a good alternative to PEG in the development of nonfouling functional surfaces.

An Investigation of Vibration-induced Protein Desorption Mechanism Using a Micromachined Membrane and PZT Plate

A micromachined vibrating membrane is used to remove adsorbed proteins on a surface. A lead zirconate titanate (PZT) composite (3 x 1 x 0.5 mm) is attached to a silicon membrane (2,000 x 500 x 3 microm) and vibrates in a flexural plate wave (FPW) mode with wavelength of 4,000/3 microm at a resonant frequency of 308 kHz. The surface charge on the membrane and fluid shear stress contribute in minimizing the protein adsorption on the SiO(2) surface. In vitro characterization shows that 57 +/- 10% of the adsorbed bovine serum albumin (BSA), 47 +/- 13% of the immunoglobulin G (IgG), and 55.3~59.2 +/- 8% of the proteins from blood plasma are effectively removed from the vibrating surface. A simulation study of the vibration-frequency spectrum and vibrating amplitude distribution matches well with the experimental data. Potentially, a microelectromechanical system (MEMS)-based vibrating membrane could be the tool to minimize biofouling of in vivo MEMS devices.

In Vitro Chelating, Cytotoxicity, and Blood Compatibility of Degradable Poly(ethylene Glycol)-based Macromolecular Iron Chelators

Desferrioxamine (DFO) is used to treat an excess accumulation of iron in the body and is currently the most commonly used iron chelator for the treatment of 'iron overload' disorder. However, the disadvantages of DFO surround its high toxicity and very short plasma half-life. Here, the detailed in vitro evaluation of a novel class of high molecular weight iron chelators based on DFO and polyethylene glycol methacrylate is reported. Reversible addition fragment chain transfer (RAFT) copolymerization afforded polymer conjugates (P-DFO) with well-controlled molecular weight (27-127 kDa) and substitution of DFO (5-26 units per chain) along the copolymer. Human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) based cell viability assays showed that the cytotoxicity of P-DFO decreased more than 100-fold at identical concentrations of DFO. The hemocompatibilities of various P-DFO samples were determined by measuring prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombelastograph parameters (TEG), complement activation, platelet activation, and red blood cell aggregation. Furthermore, the iron binding properties and chelating efficiency of P-DFO were compared to DFO by measuring the spectral properties upon binding to iron(III), while the prevention of iron(III) mediated oxidation of hemoglobin was also determined. Degradation of the P-DFO conjugates via cleavable ester linkages between the polymer backbone and the PEG side chains was evaluated using gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and NMR. Since the chelating ability of DFO remains intact after conjugation to the copolymer backbone, these macromolecular, blood compatible and degradable conjugates are promising candidates as long circulating, non-toxic iron chelators.

Poly(oligo(ethylene Glycol)acrylamide) Brushes by Surface Initiated Polymerization: Effect of Macromonomer Chain Length on Brush Growth and Protein Adsorption from Blood Plasma

Three hydrolytically stable polyethyleneglycol (PEG)-based N-substituted acrylamide macromonomers, methoxypolyethyleneglycol (350) acrylamide (MPEG350Am) methoxypolyethyleneglycol (750) acrylamide(MPEG750Am) and methoxypolyethyleneglycol (2000)acrylamide (MPEG2000Am) with increasing PEG chain length were synthesized. Surface-initiated aqueous atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) using CuCl/1,1,4,7,10,10-hexamethyl triethylene tetramine (HMTETA) catalyst was utilized to generate dense polymer brushes from these monomers via an ester linker group on the surface of model polystyrene (PS) particles. The molecular weight, hydrodynamic thickness, and graft densities of the grafted polymer layers were controlled by changing the reaction parameters of monomer concentration, addition of Cu(II)Cl2, and sodium chloride. The graft densities of surface-grafted brushes decreased with increasing PEG macromonomer chain length, 350 > 750 > 2000, under similar experimental conditions. The molecular weight of grafts increased with increase in monomer concentration, and only selected conditions produced narrow distributed polymer chains. The molecular weight of grafted polymer chains differs significantly to those formed in solution. The hydrodynamic thicknesses of the grafted polymer layers were fitted to the Daoud and Cotton model (DCM) for brush height on spherical surfaces. The results show that the size of the pendent groups on the polymer chains has a profound effect on the hydrodynamic thickness of the brush for a given degree of polymerization. The new PEG-based surfaces show good protection against nonspecific protein adsorption from blood plasma compared to the bare surface. Protein adsorption decreased with increasing surface density of grafted polymer chains. Poly(MPEG750Am) brushes were more effective in preventing protein adsorption than poly(MPEG350Am) even at low graft densities, presumably due to the increase in PEG content in the grafted layer.

Nonbiofouling Polymer Brush with Latent Aldehyde Functionality As a Template for Protein Micropatterning

A novel, nonfouling polymer brush, poly-N-[(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)acrylamide] (PDHPA), containing latent aldehyde groups, was synthesized by surface initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP). The synthetic parameters were adjusted to produce brushes with varying graft densities and molecular weights. High-density PDHPA brushes successfully prevented the nonspecific protein adsorption from single protein solutions as well as from human platelet poor plasma. Patterns of nonfouling PDHPA and reactive PDHPA-aldehyde domains on the brush surface were created by a combination of photo and wet chemical lithography from a single homogeneous PDHPA brush. Successful micropatterning of single proteins and multiple proteins were achieved using this novel substrate. The high-density brush prevented the diffusion of large proteins into the brush, while a monolayer of covalently coupled proteins was formed on the PDHPA-aldehyde domains. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) force measurements using a biotin coupled AFM tip showed that covalently coupled streptavidin retained its activity, while PDHPA domains showed little nonspecific adsorption of streptavidin. The current study avoids tedious and complicated synthetic processes employed in conventional approaches by providing a novel approach to protein micropatterning from a single, multifunctional polymer brush.

Enhanced Cell Surface Polymer Grafting in Concentrated and Nonreactive Aqueous Polymer Solutions

Macromolecular cell surface modification techniques have shown tremendous utility in various biomedical applications. However, a major drawback concerns inefficient cell surface modification caused by the poor association of hydrophilic macromolecules with cell surfaces. Here, a novel, highly efficient, and universal strategy in which nonreactive "additive" macromolecules are used to modulate the grafting efficiency of cell surface reactive, hydrophilic macromolecules is described. Unprecedented enhanced cell surface modifications by up to 10-fold were observed when various concentrations of a suitable "additive" polymer was present with a constant and low concentration of a "reactive" macromolecule. The importance of this increased efficiency and the possible mechanisms involved are discussed. The cell compatible technique is demonstrated in the case of four different cell types--red blood cells (RBC), leukocytes, platelets, and Jurkat cells. A practical application of grafting macromolecules to cell surfaces in concentrated polymer solutions is demonstrated by the enhanced camouflage of RBC surface antigens for the development of RhD null RBC. In principle, the technique can be adapted to various macromolecular systems and cell types, with significant potential for biomedical applications such as live cell based technologies.

Red Blood Cell Membrane Grafting of Multi-functional Hyperbranched Polyglycerols

The covalent attachment of hydrophilic polymers or biopharmaceuticals to the surface of red blood cells (RBCs) has previously been shown as a relatively compatible and effective method for a range of applications. Here, the first example of cell-surface grafting with a hyperbranched and multi-functional macromolecule is described. A range (3 kDa-101 kDa) of dense, globular, and blood compatible hyperbranched polyglycerols (HPG) were synthesized and functionalized with cell-surface reactive, succinimidyl succinate groups (1-12 groups per polymer). Subsequently, HPG was grafted to the RBCs, which were analyzed using physical characterization techniques such as aqueous two-phase partitioning and particle electrophoresis. It was found that the extent of grafting was enhanced by increasing HPG molecular weight, the number of reactive groups per HPG, HPG concentration, and reaction time. Good in vitro cell viability - as measured by lipid peroxidation, hemoglobin oxidation, cell lysis, osmotic fragility, stability in fresh serum and aggregation behavior - was observed for grafting concentrations up to 4.8 mm. The multi-functional aspect of HPG is highlighted by the following observations: using fluorescein-labeled Anti-D (monoclonal) antibody and flow cytometry, the detection of cell-surface Rhesus (RhD) antigens were significantly reduced upon HPG grafting. Secondly, the potential for using HPG as a multi-functional, delivery agent was demonstrated by attaching fluorescent markers to the HPG via degradable linkages prior to grafting.

Isotopic Labeling of Terminal Amines in Complex Samples Identifies Protein N-termini and Protease Cleavage Products

Effective proteome-wide strategies that distinguish the N-termini of proteins from the N-termini of their protease cleavage products would accelerate identification of the substrates of proteases with broad or unknown specificity. Our approach, named terminal amine isotopic labeling of substrates (TAILS), addresses this challenge by using dendritic polyglycerol aldehyde polymers that remove tryptic and C-terminal peptides. We analyze unbound naturally acetylated, cyclized or labeled N-termini from proteins and their protease cleavage products by tandem mass spectrometry, and use peptide isotope quantification to discriminate between the substrates of the protease of interest and the products of background proteolysis. We identify 731 acetylated and 132 cyclized N-termini, and 288 matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 cleavage sites in mouse fibroblast secretomes. We further demonstrate the potential of our strategy to link proteases with defined biological pathways in complex samples by analyzing mouse inflammatory bronchoalveolar fluid and showing that expression of the poorly defined breast cancer protease MMP-11 in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells cleaves both endoplasmin and the immunomodulator and apoptosis inducer galectin-1.

Rationalized Approach to the Determination of Contact Point in Force-distance Curves: Application to Polymer Brushes in Salt Solutions and in Water

In this work, we present two methods to determine the contact point in force-distance curves obtained with the atomic force microscope. These procedures are compared with the typical determination of contact point by a visual assessment of the data. One method, based on the assumption that the sample shows linear elastic behavior, provides results similar to those obtained by a visual assessment of the data, and will be suitable for determining the contact point in cases where ionic repulsion is not significant. The second method is based on a series of measurements in which the sample deformation is measured at increasing values of applied load; the contact point is determined by extrapolation to zero load. Because this method is based on extrapolation of measurements made in the contact regime, it is not subject to long-range repulsion. It is thus suitable for the analyses of the contact point even in cases where ionic repulsions will affect the point at which individual force curves deviate from the baseline or zero-force regime. The methods described here are demonstrated with a glycopolymer brush compressed with a colloidal silica particle on the tip of the AFM cantilever.

The Induction of Thrombus Generation on Nanostructured Neutral Polymer Brush Surfaces

Surface induced thrombus generation is a major clinical concern associated with vascular medical devices and implants. Here, we show that high graft density hydrophilic non-charged poly (N,N-dimethylacrylamide) (PDMA) brushes prevent the initiation of blood coagulation on synthetic surfaces. Using a multi-faceted analysis approach, we have identified that PDMA brushes greater than 0.27 chains/nm(2) graft density showed this highly desired property. Non-specific protein adsorption is greatly reduced on high density brushes compared to bare surface as evident from isothermal titration calorimetry, gel electrophoresis, and proteomic analyses. We have identified approximately 129 proteins of various types on bare and PDMA brush coated surfaces at a range of surface concentrations. Thromboelastography, platelet activation, and aggregation analyses show that only high graft density brushes are neutral to blood coagulation. Since the polymer brush synthesis can be adapted to most currently used biomedical materials, these results have significant impact in the design of highly hemocompatible surfaces.

The Induction of Thrombus Generation on Nanostructured Neutral Polymer Brush Surfaces

Surface induced thrombus generation is a major clinical concern associated with vascular medical devices and implants. Here, we show that high graft density hydrophilic non-charged poly (N,N-dimethylacrylamide) (PDMA) brushes prevent the initiation of blood coagulation on synthetic surfaces. Using a multi-faceted analysis approach, we have identified that PDMA brushes greater than 0.27 chains/nm2 graft density showed this highly desired property. Non-specific protein adsorption is greatly reduced on high density brushes compared to bare surface as evident from isothermal titration calorimetry, gel electrophoresis, and proteomic analyses. We have identified approximately 129 proteins of various types on bare and PDMA brush coated surfaces at a range of surface concentrations. Thromboelastography, platelet activation, and aggregation analyses show that only high graft density brushes are neutral to blood coagulation. Since the polymer brush synthesis can be adapted to most currently used biomedical materials, these results have significant impact in the design of highly hemocompatible surfaces.

High Molecular Weight Polyglycerol-based Multivalent Mannose Conjugates

We report the synthesis and characterization of multivalent mannose conjugates based on high molecular weight hyperbranched polyglycerols (HPG). A range of glycoconjugates were synthesized from high molecular weight HPGs (up to 493 kDa) and varying mannose units (22-303 per HPG). Hemagglutination assays using fresh human red blood cells and concanavalin A (Con A) showed that HPG-mannose conjugates exhibited a large enhancement in the relative potency of conjugates (as high as 40000) along with a significant increment in relative activity per sugar (up to 255). The size of the HPG scaffold and the number of mannose residues per HPG were all shown to influence the enhancement of binding interactions with Con A. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) experiments confirmed the enhanced binding affinity and showed that both molecular size and ligand density play important roles. The enhancement in Con A binding to the high molecular weight HPG-mannose conjugates is due to a combination of inter- and intramolecular mannose binding. A few fold increments in the binding constant were obtained over mannose upon covalent attachment to HPG. The binding enhancement is due to the highly favorable entropic contribution to the multiple interactions of Con A to mannose residues on HPG. The high molecular weight HPG-mannose conjugates showed positive cooperativity in binding to Con A. Although carbohydrate density has less of an effect on functional valency of the conjugate compared to the molecular size, it determines the binding affinity.

Inhibitory Effect of Hydrophilic Polymer Brushes on Surface-induced Platelet Activation and Adhesion

Poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide) (PDMA) brushes are successfully grown from unplasticized poly(vinyl chloride) (uPVC) by well-controlled surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP). Molecular weights of the grafted PDMA brushes vary from ≈ 35,000 to 2,170000 Da, while the graft density ranges from 0.08 to 1.13 chains · nm(-2). The polydispersity of the grafted PDMA brushes is controlled within 1.20 to 1.80. Platelet activation (expression of CD62) and adhesion studies reveal that the graft densities of the PDMA brushes play an important role in controlling interfacial properties. PDMA brushes with graft densities between 0.35 and 0.50 chains · nm(-2) induce a significantly reduced platelet activation compared to unmodified uPVC. Moreover, the surface adhesion of platelets on uPVC is significantly reduced by the densely grafted PDMA brushes. PDMA brushes that have high molecular weights lead to a relatively lower platelet activation compared to low-molecular-weight brushes. However, the graft density of the brush is more important than molecular weight in controlling platelet interactions with PVC. PDMA brushes do not produce any significant platelet consumption in platelet rich plasma. Up to a seven-fold decrease in the number of platelets adhered on high graft density brushes is observed compared to the bare PVC surface. Unlike the bare PVC, platelets do not form pseudopodes or change morphology on PDMA brush-coated surfaces.

Synthesis of Functional Polymer Brushes Containing Carbohydrate Residues in the Pyranose Form and Their Specific and Nonspecific Interactions with Proteins

Three novel N-substituted acrylamide monomers containing different carbohydrate residues, 2'-acrylamidoethyl-α-d-mannopyranoside, 2'-acrylamidoethyl-β-d-glucopyranoside, and 2'-acrylamidoethyl-β-d-galactopyranoside, in the pyranose form were synthesized. The corresponding glycopolymer brushes were prepared on silicon substrates by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) using unprotected glycomonomers. The formation of glycopolymer brushes was well-characterized using ellipsometry, ATR-FTIR, water contact angle analysis, atomic force microscopy analysis, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The effects of halogen, ligand, and solvent on the polymerization were thoroughly investigated. It was shown that CuCl/CuCl(2)/tris(2-dimethylaminoethyl)amine (Me(6)TREN) catalytic system with an optimized ratio of Cu(I)/Cu(II) produced glycopolymer with high molecular weight (M(n) = 44-140 kDa) and relatively narrow molecular weight distribution (PDI = 1.4). The dry thickness of resulting glycopolymer brushes (10-36 nm) showed a proportional relationship with the molecular weight of free polymer generated in the solution. The grafting densities of obtained glycopolymer brushes were between 0.12 and 0.17 chains/nm(2). The grafting of glycopolymer resulted in highly hydrophilic surface layer with very low water contact angles (<10°). The glycopolymer brushes showed ultralow protein adsorption from bovine serum albumin (BSA) and fibrinogen (Fb) solutions. Glycopolymer brushes containing glucose units showed relatively better protection against BSA and Fb adsorption than those brushes containing mannose and galactose units. Synthesized glycopolymer brushes retained specific protein interactions, as evident from the interaction with Concanavalin A (Con A). The interaction of surface-grafted glycopolymer brushes with Con A depended on both the stereochemistry of carbohydrate units and the chemical structures present. In addition, the newly synthesized glycopolymer brushes performed significantly better in comparison with currently available structures in terms of specific protein interactions.

Synthesis and Characterization of Carboxylic Acid Conjugated, Hydrophobically Derivatized, Hyperbranched Polyglycerols As Nanoparticulate Drug Carriers for Cisplatin

Hyperbranched polyglycerols (HPGs) with hydrophobic cores and derivatized with methoxy poly(ethylene glycol) were synthesized and further functionalized with carboxylate groups to bind and deliver cisplatin. Low and high levels of carboxylate were conjugated to HPGs (HPG-C(8/10)-MePEG(6.5)-COOH(113) and HPG-C(8/10)-MePEG(6.5)-COOH(348)) and their structures were confirmed through NMR and FTIR spectroscopy and potentiometric titration. The hydrodynamic diameter of the HPGs ranged from 5-10 nm and the addition of COOH groups decreased the zeta potential of the polymers. HPG-C(8/10)-MePEG(6.5)-COOH(113) bound up to 10% w/w cisplatin, whereas HPG-C(8/10)-MePEG(6.5)-COOH(348) bound up to 20% w/w drug with 100% efficiency. Drug was released from HPG-C(8/10)-MePEG(6.5)-COOH(113) over 7 days at the same rate, regardless of the pH. Cisplatin release from HPG-C(8/10)-MePEG(6.5)-COOH(348) was significantly slower than HPG-C(8/10)-MePEG(6.5)-COOH(113) at pH 6 and 7.4, but similar at pH 4.5. Release of cisplatin into artificial urine was considerably faster than into buffer. Carboxylated HPGs demonstrated good biocompatibility, and drug-loaded HPGs effectively inhibited proliferation of KU-7-luc bladder cancer cells.

The Biocompatibility and Biofilm Resistance of Implant Coatings Based on Hydrophilic Polymer Brushes Conjugated with Antimicrobial Peptides

Bacterial colonization on implant surfaces and subsequent infections are one of the most common reasons for the failure of many indwelling devices. Several approaches including antimicrobial and antibiotic-eluting coatings on implants have been attempted; however, none of these approaches succeed in vivo. Here we report a polymer brush based implant coating that is non-toxic, antimicrobial and biofilm resistant. These coating consists of covalently grafted hydrophilic polymer chains conjugated with an optimized series of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). These tethered AMPs maintained excellent broad spectrum antimicrobial activity in vitro and in vivo. We found that this specially structured robust coating was extremely effective in resisting biofilm formation, and that the biofilm resistance depended on the nature of conjugated peptides. The coating had no toxicity to osteoblast-like cells and showed insignificant platelet activation and adhesion, and complement activation in human blood. Since such coatings can be applied to most currently used implant surfaces, our approach has significant potential for the development of infection-resistant implants.

Bending and Stretching Actuation of Soft Materials Through Surface-initiated Polymerization

Identification of Proteolytic Products and Natural Protein N-termini by Terminal Amine Isotopic Labeling of Substrates (TAILS)

Determining the sequence of protein N-termini and their modifications functionally annotates proteins since translation isoforms, posttranslational modifications, and proteolytic truncations direct localization, activity, and the half-life of most proteins. Here we present in detail the steps required to perform our recently described approach we call Terminal Amine Isotopic Labeling of Substrates (TAILS), a combined N-terminomics and protease substrate discovery degradomics platform for the simultaneous quantitative and global analysis of the N-terminome and proteolysis in one MS/MS experiment. By a 3-day procedure with flexible α- and ɛ-amine labeling and blocking options, TAILS removes internal tryptic and C-terminal peptides by binding to a dendritic polyglycerol aldehyde polymer. Therefore, by negative selection, this enriches for both the N-terminal-labeled peptides and all forms of naturally blocked N-terminal peptides. In addition to providing valuable proteome annotation, the simultaneous analysis of the original mature N-terminal peptides enables these peptides to be used for higher confidence protein substrate identification by two or more different and unique peptides. Second, the analysis of the N-terminal peptides forms a statistical classifier to determine valid isotope ratio cutoffs in order to identify with high-confidence protease-generated neo-N-terminal peptides. Third, quantifying the loss of acetylated or cyclized N-terminal peptides that have been cleaved extends overall substrate coverage. Hence, TAILS allows for the global analysis of the N-terminome and determination of cleavage site motifs and substrates for protease including those with unknown or broad specificity.

Development of Soluble Ester-linked Aldehyde Polymers for Proteomics

High molecular weight hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG) was selected for development as a soluble polymer support for the targeted selection and release of primary-amine containing peptides from a complex mixture. HPG has been functionalized with ester-linked aldehyde groups that can bind primary-amine containing peptides via a reductive alkylation reaction. Once bound, the high molecular weight of the polymer facilitates separation from a complex peptide mixture by employing either a 30 kDa molecular weight cutoff membrane or precipitation in acetonitrile. Following the removal of unbound peptides and reagents, subsequent hydrolysis of the ester linker releases the bound peptide into solution for analysis by mass spectrometry. Released peptides retain the linker moiety and are therefore characteristically mass-shifted. Four water-soluble cleavable aldehyde polymers (CAP1, CAP2, CAP3, and CAP4) ranging in types of linker groups, length of the linker groups, have been prepared and characterized, each demonstrating the ability to selectively enrich and sequence primary-amine peptides from a complex human proteome containing blocked (dimethylated amine) and unblocked (primary amine) peptides. The polymers have very low nonspecific peptide-binding properties while possessing significantly more reactive groups per milligram of the support than commercially available resins. The polymers exhibit a range of reactivities and binding capacities that depend on the type of linker group between the aldehyde group and the polymer. Using various linker structures, we also probed the mechanism of the observed dehydration of hydrolyzed peptides during matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis.

Antibacterial Surfaces Based on Polymer Brushes: Investigation on the Influence of Brush Properties on Antimicrobial Peptide Immobilization and Antimicrobial Activity

Primary amine containing copolymer, poly(N,N-dimethylacrylamide-co-N-(3-aminopropyl)methacrylamide hydrochloride) (poly(DMA-co-APMA)), brushes were synthesized on Ti surface by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) in aqueous conditions. A series of poly(DMA-co-APMA) copolymer brushes on titanium (Ti) surface with different molecular weights, thicknesses, compositions, and graft densities were synthesized by changing the SI-ATRP reaction conditions. Cysteine-functionalized cationic antimicrobial peptide Tet213 (KRWWKWWRRC) was conjugated to the copolymers brushes using a maleimide-thiol addition reaction after initial modification of the grafted chains using 3-maleimidopropionic acid N-hydroxysuccinimide ester. The modified surfaces were characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), water contact angle measurements, attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and ellipsometry analysis. The conjugation of the Tet213 onto brushes strongly depended on graft density of the brushes at different copolymer brush compositions. The peptide density (peptides/nm(2)) on the surface varied with the initial composition of the copolymer brushes. Higher graft density of the brushes generated high peptide density (pepetide/nm(2)) and lower number of peptides/polymer chain and vice versa. The peptide density and graft density of the chains on surface greatly influenced the antimicrobial activity of peptide grafted polymer brushes against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Identifying and Quantifying Proteolytic Events and the Natural N Terminome by Terminal Amine Isotopic Labeling of Substrates

Analysis of the sequence and nature of protein N termini has many applications. Defining the termini of proteins for proteome annotation in the Human Proteome Project is of increasing importance. Terminomics analysis of protease cleavage sites in degradomics for substrate discovery is a key new application. Here we describe the step-by-step procedures for performing terminal amine isotopic labeling of substrates (TAILS), a 2- to 3-d (depending on method of labeling) high-throughput method to identify and distinguish protease-generated neo-N termini from mature protein N termini with all natural modifications with high confidence. TAILS uses negative selection to enrich for all N-terminal peptides and uses primary amine labeling-based quantification as the discriminating factor. Labeling is versatile and suited to many applications, including biochemical and cell culture analyses in vitro; in vivo analyses using tissue samples from animal and human sources can also be readily performed. At the protein level, N-terminal and lysine amines are blocked by dimethylation (formaldehyde/sodium cyanoborohydride) and isotopically labeled by incorporating heavy and light dimethylation reagents or stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture labels. Alternatively, easy multiplex sample analysis can be achieved using amine blocking and labeling with isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification, also known as iTRAQ. After tryptic digestion, N-terminal peptide separation is achieved using a high-molecular-weight dendritic polyglycerol aldehyde polymer that binds internal tryptic and C-terminal peptides that now have N-terminal alpha amines. The unbound naturally blocked (acetylation, cyclization, methylation and so on) or labeled mature N-terminal and neo-N-terminal peptides are recovered by ultrafiltration and analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Hierarchical substrate winnowing discriminates substrates from the background proteolysis products and non-cleaved proteins by peptide isotope quantification and bioinformatics search criteria.

Contribution of Cathepsin L to Secretome Composition and Cleavage Pattern of Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts

The endolysosomal cysteine endoprotease cathepsin L is secreted from cells in a variety of pathological conditions such as cancer and arthritis. We compared the secretome composition and extracellular proteolytic cleavage events in cell supernatants of cathepsin L-deficient and wild-type mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Quantitative proteomic comparison of cell conditioned media indicated that cathepsin L deficiency affects, albeit in a limited manner, the abundances of extracellular matrix (ECM) components, signaling proteins, and further proteases as well as endogenous protease inhibitors. Immunodetection corroborated that cathepsin L deficiency results in decreased abundance of the ECM protein periostin and elevated abundance of matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-2. While mRNA levels of MMP-2 were not affected by cathepsin L ablation, periostin mRNA levels were reduced, potentially indicating a downstream effect. To characterize cathepsin L contribution to extracellular proteolysis, we performed terminal amine isotopic labeling of substrates (TAILS), an N-terminomic technique for the identification and quantification of native and proteolytically generated protein N-termini. TAILS identified >1500 protein N-termini. Cathepsin L deficiency predominantly reduced the magnitude of collagenous cleavage sites C-terminal to a proline residue. This contradicts cathepsin L active site specificity and indicates altered activity of further proteases as a result of cathepsin L ablation.

In vivo Circulation, Clearance, and Biodistribution of Polyglycerol Grafted Functional Red Blood Cells

The in vivo circulation of hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG) grafted red blood cells (RBCs) was investigated in mice. The number of HPG molecules grafted per RBC was measured using tritium labeled HPGs ((3)H-HPG) of different molecular weights; the values ranged from 1 × 10(5) to 2 × 10(6) molecules per RBC. HPG-grafted RBCs were characterized in vitro by measuring the electrophoretic mobility, complement mediated lysis, and osmotic fragility. Our results show that RBCs grafted with 1.5 × 10(5) HPG molecules per RBC having molecular weights 20 and 60 kDa have similar characteristics as that of control RBCs. The in vivo circulation of HPG-grafted RBCs was measured by a tail vain injection of (3)H-HPG60K-RBC in mice. The radioactivity of isolated RBCs, whole blood, plasma, different organs, urine and feces was evaluated at different time intervals. The portion of (3)H-HPG60K-RBC that survived the first day in mice (52%) remained in circulation for 50 days. Minimal accumulation radioactivity in organs other than liver and spleen was observed suggesting the normal clearance mechanism of modified RBCs. Animals gained normal weights and no abnormalities observed in necropsy analysis. The stability of the ester-amide linker between the RBC and HPG was evaluated by comparing the clearance rate of (3)H-HPG60K-RBC and PKH-26 lipid fluorescent membrane marker labeled HPG60K-RBCs. HPG modified RBCs combine the many advantages of a dendritic polymer and RBCs, and hold great promise in systemic drug delivery and other applications of functional RBC.

Biomembrane Interactions Reveal the Mechanism of Action of Surface-immobilized Host Defense IDR-1010 Peptide

Dissecting the mechanism of action of surface-tethered antimicrobial and immunomodulatory peptides is critical to the design of optimized anti-infection coatings on biomedical devices. To address this, we compared the biomembrane interactions of host defense peptide IDR-1010cys (1) in free form, (2) as a soluble polymer conjugate, and (3) with one end tethered to a solid support with model bacterial and mammalian lipid membranes. Our results show that IDR-1010cys in all three distinct forms interacted with bacterial and mammalian lipid vesicles, but the extent of the interactions as monitored by the induction of secondary structure varied. The enhanced interaction of surface-tethered peptides is well correlated with their very good antimicrobial activities. Our results demonstrate that there may be a difference in the mechanism of action of surface-tethered versus free IDR-1010cys.

Polyvalent Choline Phosphate As a Universal Biomembrane Adhesive

Phospholipids in the cell membranes of all eukaryotic cells contain phosphatidyl choline (PC) as the headgroup. Here we show that hyperbranched polyglycerols (HPGs) decorated with the 'PC-inverse' choline phosphate (CP) in a polyvalent fashion can electrostatically bind to a variety of cell membranes and to PC-containing liposomes, the binding strength depending on the number density of CP groups per macromolecule. We also show that HPG-CPs can cause cells to adhere with varying affinity to other cells, and that binding can be reversed by subsequent exposure to low molecular weight HPGs carrying small numbers of PCs. Moreover, PC-rich membranes adsorb and rapidly internalize fluorescent HPG-CP but not HPG-PC molecules, which suggests that HPG-CPs could be used as drug-delivery agents. CP-decorated polymers should find broad use, for instance as tissue sealants and in the self-assembly of lipid nanostructures.

Hyperbranched Glycopolymers for Blood Biocompatibility

Carbohydrate-based drug and gene delivery carriers are becoming extremely popular for in vitro and in vivo applications. These carriers are found to be nontoxic and can play a significant role in targeted delivery. However, the interactions of these carriers with blood cells and plasma components are not well explored. To the best of our knowledge, there are currently no reports that explore the role of carbohydrate based carriers for blood biocompatibility. Hyperbranched glycopolymers of varying molecular weights are synthesized by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) and are studied in detail for their biocompatibility, including hemocompatibility and cytotoxicity against different cell lines in vitro. The hemocompatibility studies (such as hemolysis and platelet activation) indicate that hyperbranched glycopolymers of varying molecular weights produced are highly hemocompatible and do not induce clot formation, red blood cell aggregation, and immune response. Hence, it can be concluded that glycopolymers functionalized carriers can serve as an excellent candidate for various biomedical applications. In addition, cytotoxicity of these hyperbranched polymers is studied in primary and malignant cell lines at varying concentrations using cell viability assay.

Influence of Polymer Architecture on Antigens Camouflage, CD47 Protection and Complement Mediated Lysis of Surface Grafted Red Blood Cells

Hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymers with similar hydrodynamic sizes in solution were grafted to red blood cells (RBCs) to investigate the impact of polymer architecture on the cell structure and function. The hydrodynamic sizes of polymers were calculated from the diffusion coefficients measured by pulsed field gradient NMR. The hydration of the HPG and PEG was determined by differential scanning calorimetry analyses. RBCs grafted with linear PEG had different properties compared to the compact HPG grafted RBCs. HPG grafted RBCs showed much higher electrophoretic mobility values than PEG grafted RBCs at similar grafting concentrations and hydrodynamic sizes indicating differences in the structure of the polymer exclusion layer on the cell surface. PEG grafting impacted the deformation properties of the membrane to a greater degree than HPG. The complement mediated lysis of the grafted RBCs was dependent on the type of polymer, grafting concentration and molecular size of grafted chains. At higher molecular weights and graft concentrations both HPG and PEG triggered complement activation. The magnitude of activation was higher with HPG possibly due to the presence of many hydroxyl groups per molecule. HPG grafted RBCs showed significantly higher levels of CD47 self-protein accessibility than PEG grafted RBCs at all grafting concentrations and molecular sizes. PEG grafted polymers provided, in general, a better shielding and protection to ABO and minor antigens from antibody recognition than HPG polymers, however, the compact HPGs provided greater protection of certain antigens on the RBC surface. Our data showed that HPG 20 kDa and HPG 60 kDa grafted RBCs exhibited properties that are more comparable to the native RBC than PEG 5 kDa and PEG 10 kDa grafted RBCs of comparable hydrodynamic sizes. The study shows that small compact polymers such as HPG 20 kDa have a greater potential in the generation of functional RBC for therapeutic delivery applications. The intermediate sized polymers (PEG or HPG) which showed greater antigen camouflage at lower grafting concentrations have significant potential in transfusion as universal red blood donor cells.

Branched Multifunctional Polyether Polyketals: Variation of Ketal Group Structure Enables Unprecedented Control over Polymer Degradation in Solution and Within Cells

Multifunctional biocompatible and biodegradable nanomaterials incorporating specific degradable linkages that respond to various stimuli and with defined degradation profiles are critical to the advancement of targeted nanomedicine. Herein we report, for the first time, a new class of multifunctional dendritic polyether polyketals containing different ketal linkages in their backbone that exhibit unprecedented control over degradation in solution and within the cells. High-molecular-weight and highly compact poly(ketal hydroxyethers) (PKHEs) were synthesized from newly designed α-epoxy-ω-hydroxyl-functionalized AB(2)-type ketal monomers carrying structurally different ketal groups (both cyclic and acyclic) with good control over polymer properties by anionic ring-opening multibranching polymerization. Polymer functionalization with multiple azide and amine groups was achieved without degradation of the ketal group. The polymer degradation was controlled primarily by the differences in the structure and torsional strain of the substituted ketal groups in the main chain, while for polymers with linear (acyclic) ketal groups, the hydrophobicity of the polymer may play an additional role. This was supported by the log P values of the monomers and the hydrophobicity of the polymers determined by fluorescence spectroscopy using pyrene as the probe. A range of hydrolysis half-lives of the polymers at mild acidic pH values was achieved, from a few minutes to a few hundred days, directly correlating with the differences in ketal group structures. Confocal microscopy analyses demonstrated similar degradation profiles for PKHEs within live cells, as seen in solution and the delivery of fluorescent marker to the cytosol. The cell viability measured by MTS assay and blood compatibility determined by complement activation, platelet activation, and coagulation assays demonstrate that PKHEs and their degradation products are highly biocompatible. Taken together, these data demonstrate the utility this new class of biodegradable polymer as a highly promising candidate in the development of multifunctional nanomedicine.

Synthesis, Characterization, and Biocompatibility of Biodegradable Hyperbranched Polyglycerols from Acid-cleavable Ketal Group Functionalized Initiators

Herein we report the synthesis of biodegradable hyperbranched polyglycerols (BHPGs) having acid-cleavable core structure by anionic ring-opening multibranching polymerization (ROMBP) of glycidol using initiators bearing dimethyl and cyclohexyl ketal groups. Five different multifunctional initiators carrying one to four ketal groups and two to four hydroxyl groups per molecule were synthesized. The hydroxyl carrying initiators containing one ketal group per molecule were synthesized from ethylene glycol. An alkyne-azide click reaction was used for synthesizing initiators containing multiple cyclohexyl ketal linkages and hydroxyl groups. The synthesized BHPGs exhibited monomodal molecular weight distributions and polydispersity in the range of 1.2 to 1.6, indicating the controlled nature of the polymerizations. The polymers were relatively stable at physiological pH but degraded at acidic pH values. The polymer degradation was dependent on the type of ketal structure present in the BHPG; polymers with cyclohexyl ketal groups degraded at much slower rates than those with dimethyl ketal groups at a given pH. Good control of polymer degradation was achieved under mild acidic conditions by changing the structure of ketal linkages. A precise control of the molecular weight of the degraded HPG was achieved by controlling the number of ketal groups within the core, as revealed from the gel permeation chromatography (GPC) analyses. The decrease in the polymer molecular weights upon degradation was correlated well with the number of ketal groups in their core structure. Our data support the suggestion that glycidol was polymerized uniformly from all hydroxyl groups of the initiators. BHPGs and their degradation products were highly biocompatible, as measured by blood coagulation, complement activation, platelet activation, and cell viability assays. The controlled degradation profiles of these polymers together with their excellent biocompatibility make them suitable for drug delivery and bioconjugation applications.

Influence of Architecture of High Molecular Weight Linear and Branched Polyglycerols on Their Biocompatibility and Biodistribution

The availability of long circulating, multifunctional polymers is critical to the development of drug delivery systems and bioconjugates. The ease of synthesis and functionalization make linear polymers attractive but their rapid clearance from circulation compared to their branched or cyclic counterparts, and their high solution viscosities restrict their applications in certain settings. Herein, we report the unusual compact nature of high molecular weight (HMW) linear polyglycerols (LPGs) (LPG - 100; M(n) - 104 kg mol(-1), M(w)/M(n) - 1.15) in aqueous solutions and its impact on its solution properties, blood compatibility, cell compatibility, in vivo circulation, biodistribution and renal clearance. The properties of LPG have been compared with hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG) (HPG-100), linear polyethylene glycol (PEG) with similar MWs. The hydrodynamic size and the intrinsic viscosity of LPG-100 in water were considerably lower compared to PEG. The Mark-Houwink parameter of LPG was almost 10-fold lower than that of PEG. LPG and HPG demonstrated excellent blood and cell compatibilities. Unlike LPG and HPG, HMW PEG showed dose dependent activation of blood coagulation, platelets and complement system, severe red blood cell aggregation and hemolysis, and cell toxicity. The long blood circulation of LPG-100 (t(1/2β,) 31.8 ± 4 h) was demonstrated in mice; however, it was shorter compared to HPG-100 (t(1/2β,) 39.2 ± 8 h). The shorter circulation half life of LPG-100 was correlated with its higher renal clearance and deformability. Relatively lower organ accumulation was observed for LPG-100 and HPG-100 with some influence of on the architecture of the polymers. Since LPG showed better biocompatibility profiles, longer in vivo circulation time compared to PEG and other linear drug carrier polymers, and has multiple functionalities for conjugation, makes it a potential candidate for developing long circulating multifunctional drug delivery systems similar to HPG.

Carbohydrate Structure Dependent Hemocompatibility of Biomimetic Functional Polymer Brushes on Surfaces

Glycocalyx mimicking glycopolymer brushes presenting mannose, galactose and glucose residues in the pyranose form, similar to those present on cell surfaces, were synthesized on planar substrates (Si wafer, gold chip) and monodispersed polystyrene (PS) particles, and the interaction of blood to these surfaces were studied using various methods with the goal of producing a hemocompatible surface. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy and gel analyses showed that the total protein adsorption from plasma was greatly reduced, as low as 24.3 ng/cm(2) from undiluted plasma on the glucose carrying brush. The protein adsorption decreased with increasing grafting density of the brushes. It was also found that the protein adsorption varied with the anticoagulant used for blood collection; much higher amount of protein was adsorbed from heparinzied plasma than citrated plasma. Proteomics protein identification analysis revealed that protein adsorption from plasma depended on the type of sugar residue present on the surface as well as the type of anticoagulant. All the three types of glycopolymer brushes showed similar level of platelet activation as that of buffer control irrespective of the nature of carbohydrate residue. However, the number of adhered platelet and their morphology depended on the type of carbohydrate residue present on the brush. On glucose brush, the extent of platelet adhesion and spreading was significantly lowered compared to other brushes. All the glycopolymer brushes were neutral to blood coagulation as indicated by thromboelastography analysis. The glucose brush gave a slightly longer initial coagulation time suggesting that this surface may be more biocompatible. Our data demonstrate that the structure of carbohydrate residue is an important factor in the design of synthetic blood contacting surface based on glycopolymer.

Deletion of Cysteine Cathepsins B or L Yields Differential Impacts on Murine Skin Proteome and Degradome

Numerous studies highlight that concerted proteolysis is essential for skin morphology and function. The cysteine protease cathepsin L (Ctsl) has been implicated in epidermal proliferation and desquamation as well as in hair cycle regulation. In stark contrast, mice deficient for cathepsin B (Ctsb) do not display an overt skin phenotype. To understand the systematic consequences of deleting Ctsb or Ctsl, we determined protein abundances of > 1300 proteins and proteolytic cleavage events in skin samples of wild-type, Ctsb-/- and Ctsl-/- mice by mass spectrometry based proteomics. Both protease deficiencies revealed distinct quantitative changes in proteome composition. Ctsl-/- skin revealed increased levels of the cysteine protease inhibitors cystatin B and cystatin M/E, increased cathepsin D and accumulation of the extracellular glycoprotein periostin. Immunohistochemistry located periostin predominantly in hypodermal connective tissue of Ctsl-/- skin. Proteomic identification of proteolytic cleavage sites within skin proteins revealed numerous processing sites that are underrepresented in Ctsl-/- or Ctsb-/- samples. Notably, few of the affected cleavage sites shared the canonical Ctsl or Ctsb specificity, providing further evidence for a complex proteolytic network in the skin. Novel processing sites in proteins such as dermokine and Notch-1 were detected. Simultaneous analysis of acetylated protein N-termini showed prototypical mammalian N-alpha acetylation. These results illustrate an influence of both Ctsb and Ctsl on the murine skin proteome and degradome with the phenotypic consequences of the absence of either protease differing considerably.

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