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In JoVE (1)

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Articles by Mark D. Scott 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 Mark D. Scott on PubMed

Living Up to Your Values

Biophysical Consequences of Linker Chemistry and Polymer Size on Stealth Erythrocytes: Size Does Matter

Immunocamouflaged red blood cells (RBC) are produced by cell surface derivatization with methoxypolyethylene glycol (mPEG). These immunologically attenuated cells may reduce the risk of allosensitization in chronically transfused patients. To characterize the effects of differing linker chemistries and polymer lengths, RBC were modified with cyanuric chloride activated mPEG (C-mPEG 5 kDa), benzotriazole carbonate methoxyPEG (BTC-mPEG; 5 or 20 kDa) or N-hydroxysuccinimidyl ester of mPEG propionic acid (SPA-mPEG; 2, 5 or 20 kDa). Biophysical methods including particle electrophoresis and aqueous two-phase polymer partitioning were employed to compare the PEG derivatives. While C-mPEG was faster reacting, both BTC-mPEG and SPA-mPEG gave comparable findings after 1 h. Both PEG surface density and molecular mass had a large effect on RBC surface properties. Proportional changes in electrophoretic mobility and preferential phase partitioning were achieved by increasing either the quantity of surface PEG or the PEG molecular mass. In addition, two-phase partitioning may provide a means for efficiently removing unmodified or lightly modified (hence potentially immunogenic) RBC in the clinical setting. Furthermore, mPEG modification significantly inhibits cell-cell interaction as evidenced by loss of Rouleaux formation and, consequently, sedimentation rate. Importantly, BTC-mPEG 20 kDa RBC showed normal in vivo survival in mice at immunoprotective concentrations (up to 2 mM).

Immunocamouflage: Prevention of Transfusion-induced Graft-versus-host Disease Via Polymer Grafting of Donor Cells

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) can occur following the transfer of allogeneic lymphocytes into immunosuppressed and, in rare cases, immunocompetent recipients. The initiation of GVHD requires the allorecognition of the recipient's disparate MHC molecules by the donor T lymphocytes (T cell). Currently, GVHD is controlled by cyclosporine administration--a potent, but toxic, T-cell suppressing agent. To determine if the nontoxic grafting of methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG) to immunologically foreign lymphocytes could prevent allorecognition and GVHD, in vitro and in vivo murine studies were performed. In vitro studies utilizing mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLRs) demonstrate that mPEG modification effectively prevented allorecognition and subsequent T-cell proliferation. The loss of cellular proliferation was not due to mPEG cytotoxicity but rather to the inhibition of cell-cell interactions. Flow cytometric studies showed that T-cell and antigen-presenting cell adhesion molecules (CD2, CD11a), signaling (CD3epsilon, T-cell receptor), and costimulatory molecules (CD28, CD80) were efficiently immunocamouflaged by mPEG derivatization. Interestingly, upon antigenic stimulation mPEG-modified cells demonstrate enhanced apoptosis as evidenced by DNA laddering. In vivo studies using immunocompetent and immunosuppressed mice established that mPEG modification of donor lymphocytes effectively attenuated the in vivo proliferation of donor cells and the initiation of GVHD.

Beyond the Red Cell: Pegylation of Other Blood Cells and Tissues

Immunological recognition of allogeneic tissue is of critical concern in transfusion and transplantation medicine. While the major emphasis of our work on the immunocamouflage of cells has been focused on the erythrocyte, we have extended this research beyond the red blood cell (RBC) to other tissues. Our studies from blood transfusion (i.e., a specialized form of cellular transplantation) suggest that covalent modification of cells and tissues with methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) mPEG can significantly diminish immunologic recognition of other allogeneic tissues and, furthermore, may enhance the induction of tolerance. The mechanisms underlying the mPEG-mediated immunocamouflage of alloantigens is the global camouflaging of antigenic sites, membrane surface charge and the attenuation of receptor-ligand and cell-cell interactions. As a consequence of the immunocamouflage imparted by the grafted mPEG, weak costimulation of alloreactive T cells is observed which subsequently induces apoptosis of these reactive cells. As a result of this clonal deletion, a pro-tolerance state is induced. The potency of immunocamouflage is readily observed in in vivo murine models of transfusion-associated graft versus host disease. Furthermore, initial studies on the in vivo transplantation of pegylated rat and murine pancreatic islets have demonstrated that mPEG-derivatization does not impair the finely tuned signaling necessary for glucose homeostasis. Finally, in contrast to the pharmacological inhibition of the immune response by agents such as cyclosporine, mPEG-mediated immunocamouflage directly attenuates the inherent antigenicity and immunogenicity of the donor tissue itself while leaving the recipient a fully competent immune system.

Inactivation of Prion Proteins Via Covalent Grafting with Methoxypoly(ethylene Glycol)

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) such as bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE), Creutzfeld-Jakob disease (CJD) as well as other proteinaceous infectious particles (prions) mediated diseases have emerged as a significant concern in transfusion medicine. This concern is derived from both the disease causing potential of prion contaminated blood products but also due to tremendous impact of the active deferral of current and potential blood donors due to their extended stays in BSE prevalent countries (e.g., the United Kingdom). To date, there are no effective means by which infectious prion proteins can be inactivated in cellular and acellular blood products. Based on current work on the covalent grafting of methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) [mPEG] to proteins, viruses, and anuclear, and nucleated cells, it is hypothesized that the conversion of the normal PrP protein to its mutant conformation can be prevented by the covalent grafting of mPEG to the mutant protein. Inactivation of infective protein particles (prions) in both cellular blood products as well as cell free solutions (e.g., clotting factors) could be of medical/commercial value. It is hypothesized that consequent to the covalent modification of donor-derived prions with mPEG the requisite nucleation of the normal and mutant PrP proteins is inhibited due to the increased solubility of the modified mutant PrP and that the conformational conversion arising from the mutant PrP is prevented due to obscuration of protein charge by the heavily hydrated and neutral mPEG polymers, as well as by direct steric hindrance of the interaction due to the highly mobile polymer graft.

H2O2 Injury in Beta Thalassemic Erythrocytes: Protective Role of Catalase and the Prooxidant Effects of GSH

Redox-mediated injury is an important pathway in the destruction of beta thalassemic red blood cells (RBC). Because of the autoxidation of the unstable hemoglobin chains and subsequent release of globin free heme and iron, significant amounts of superoxide (O2-) and, more importantly, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) are generated intracellularly. Hence, catabolism of H2O2 is crucial in preventing cellular injury. Removal of H2O2 is mediated via two primary pathways: GSH-dependent glutathione peroxidase or catalase. Importantly, both pathways are ultimately dependent on NADPH. In the absence of any exogenous oxidants, model thalassemic RBC demonstrated significantly decreased GSH levels (P < 0.001 at 20 h). Perhaps of greater pathophysiologic importance, however, was the finding that the model thalassemic RBC exhibited significantly (P < 0.001) decreased catalase activity. Following 20 h incubation at 37 degrees C only 61.5 +/- 2.9% of the initial catalase activity remained in the alpha-hemoglobin chain-loaded cells versus 104.6 +/- 4.5 and 108.2 +/- 3.2% in the control and control-resealed cells, respectively. The mechanism underlying the loss of both catalase activity and GSH appears to be the same in that both catabolic pathways require adequate NADPH levels. As shown in this study, model beta thalassemic cells are unable to maintain a normal ( approximately 1.0) NADPH/NADP(total) ratio and, after 20 h, the model beta thalassemic cells have a significantly (P < 0.001) lower ratio ( approximately 0.5) which is quite similar to a G6PD-deficient RBC. In support of these findings, direct inactivation of catalase gives rise to significantly increased oxidant damage. In contrast, GSH depletion is not closely associated with oxidant sensitivity. Indeed, the consumption of GSH noted in the thalassemic RBC may be via a prooxidant pathway as augmentation of cellular GSH levels actually enhances alpha-hemoglobin chain-mediated injury.

Comparative Analysis of Polymer and Linker Chemistries on the Efficacy of Immunocamouflage of Murine Leukocytes

Membrane grafting of methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) [mPEG] to allogeneic leukocytes attenuates allorecognition and significantly reduces the risk of graft-versus-host disease in mice. To optimize the immunological efficacy of polymer grafting, murine splenocytes were modified using three differing linker chemistries: CmPEG (5 kDa), BTCmPEG (5 and 20 kDa) and TmPEG (5 kDa). In vitro immunocamouflage efficacy was examined by flow cytometic analysis of leukocyte markers and mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLR). In contrast to CmPEG and BTCmPEG, TmPEG exerted significant cellular toxicity. Flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that both CmPEG and BTCmPEG were highly effective at camouflaging cell surface markers while TmPEG was ineffective. Furthermore, CmPEG and BTCmPEG dramatically blocked MLR allorecognition and cellular proliferation. Polymer length was the most critical factor in the immunocamouflage of cells with the BTCmPEG 20 kDa being the most effective. In contrast to other immunomodulatory approaches, immunocamouflage of leukocytes yields a multivalent effect globally interfering with attachment, allorecognition, presentation and costimulation pathways.

Immune Complex Binding by Immunocamouflaged [poly(ethylene Glycol)-grafted] Erythrocytes

Immune complexes (IC) are constantly formed at low levels in normal individuals. In humans, the red blood cell (RBC) complement receptor 1 (CR1) plays the dominant role in the IC binding and clearance. Over the last several years, we have investigated the potential utility of immunocamouflaged (methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) [mPEG] grafted) RBC to attenuate the risk of alloimmunization. Because the grafted polymer nonspecifically camouflages membrane proteins, its effects on CR1 detection and IC binding were assessed. The dose dependent (0-2.5 mM) effects of activated mPEG (CmPEG, 5 kDa; and BTCmPEG, 5 and 20 kDa) on CR1 detection and the binding of artificially generated IC [C3b coated alkaline phosphatase and antialkaline phosphatase complexes] to control and pegylated RBC was investigated by flow cytometry. In contrast to selected non-ABO blood group antigens, grafted mPEG did not effectively camouflage CR1. Surprisingly, however, even very low grafting concentrations of mPEG (>or=0.3 mM) resulted in a >or=95% loss in IC binding. Further reductions in grafting concentration (0.15 and 0.03 mM mPEG) still yielded decreased IC binding of approximately 60 and 40%, respectively. Importantly, unactivated mPEG had minimal effects on IC binding. These data demonstrate that even small amounts of grafted mPEG interfere with the multivalent CR1-IC interaction necessary for high affinity IC binding, hence large volume transfusions of mPEG-RBC may be contraindicated in patients with pre-existing IC disease. Whether this concern is of clinical significance in healthy humans is less clear due to dilutional effects and the presence of secondary clearance pathways.

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.

Immunocamouflage: the Biophysical Basis of Immunoprotection by Grafted Methoxypoly(ethylene Glycol) (mPEG)

Development of novel approaches for the immunomodulation of donor cells would have significant utility in transfusion and transplantation medicine. Immunocamouflage of cell surfaces by covalently grafted methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG) (PEGylation) has emerged as a promising approach. While previous studies demonstrated the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of immunocamouflaged allogeneic blood cells, the biophysical mechanisms of immunoprotection have not been well-defined due to the fragility of intact cells. To overcome this limitation, polystyrene beads (1.2 and 8.0 microm) were used to elucidate the biophysical effects of polymer size, density and linker chemistry on charge camouflage and protein adsorption. These findings were correlated with biological studies using red blood cells and lymphocytes. Charge camouflage of both beads and cells was best achieved with long polymers. However, protein adsorption studies demonstrated an unexpected effect of target size. For 1.2 microm beads, decreased protein adsorption was best achieved with short (2 kDa) polymers whereas long chain (20 kDa) polymers were optimal for 8.0 microm particles. The biophysical findings correlated well with biological immunocamouflage as measured by particle electrophoresis and the inhibition of antibody-antigen (CD3, CD4 and CD28) recognition. Moreover, it was observed that antigen topography (CD28 vs. CD4) was of significance in selecting the appropriate polymer size. The biophysical interactions of PEGylated surfaces and macromolecules involve complex mechanisms dependent on the molecular weight, grafting concentration, target size and surface complexity. Cellular PEGylation strategies must be customized to account for target cell size, membrane complexity and antigen density and height.

The Effect of Grafted Methoxypoly(ethylene Glycol) Chain Length on the Inhibition of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection and Proliferation

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a significant cause of morbidity in humans. To date, no effective treatments exist and current prophylactic therapy access is limited and is only approximately 50% effective. To attenuate the risk of RSV infection, we hypothesized that bioengineering of either the virus particle or host cell via the covalent grafting of methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) [mPEG] would prevent infection. To this end, the anti-viral effects of grafting concentration, linker chemistry and polymer length on RSV infection was assessed. For viral modification, short chain polymers (2 kDa) were significantly more effective than long chain (20 kDa) polymers. In contrast, modification of host cells with small polymers provided no (approximately 0%) protection while long chain polymers effectively prevented infection. For example, at 48 hours post-infection at a multiplicity of infection of 0.5 and grafting concentrations of 5, 7.5, and 15 mm, 20 kDa mPEG decreased infection by 45, 83, and 91%, respectively. Importantly, both viral and host cell PEGylation strategies were able to provide near complete protection against RSV infection of both non-polarized and polarized cells. In conclusion, mPEG-modification of either RSV or the host cell is a highly effective prophylactic strategy for preventing viral infection.

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.

Polymer-mediated Immunocamouflage of Red Blood Cells: Effects of Polymer Size on Antigenic and Immunogenic Recognition of Allogeneic Donor Blood Cells

Developing a practical means of reducing alloimmunization in chronically transfused patients would be of significant clinical benefit. Immunocamouflaging red blood cells (RBCs) by membrane grafting of methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG) may reduce the risk of allo-immunization. The results of this study showed that antibody recognition of non-ABO antigens was significantly reduced in an mPEG-dose- and polymer size-dependent manner, with higher molecular weight mPEGs providing better immunoprotection. Furthermore, in vivo immunogenicity was significantly reduced in mice serially transfused with mPEG-modified xenogeneic (sheep; sRBCs), allogeneic (C57Bl/6), or syngeneic (Balb/c) RBCs. Following a primary transfusion of sRBCs, mice receiving mPEG-sRBCs showed a >90% reduction in anti-sRBC IgG antibody levels. After two transfusions, mice receiving mPEG-sRBCs showed reductions of >80% in anti-sRBC IgG levels. Importantly, mPEG-modified autologous cells did not induce neoantigens or an immune (IgG or IgM) response. These data suggest that the global immunocamouflage of RBCs by polymer grafting may provide a safe and cost-effective means of reducing the risk of alloimmunization.

Induction of Immunotolerance Via MPEG Grafting to Allogeneic Leukocytes

The induction of anergy or tolerance to prevent allorecognition is of clinical interest. To this end, the effects of methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) [mPEG] grafting to allogeneic lymphocytes on proliferation and phenotype (Th17 and Treg) was examined in vitro and in vivo. Control studies demonstrated that PEGylation did not affect cells viability or proliferation (mitogen) potential. Conditioned media (1° MLR) collected at 72 h from resting PBMC demonstrated no immunomodulatory effects whereas the control MLR demonstrated significant (p < 0.001) pro-proliferative potential and significantly increased in IL-2, TNF-α, and INF-γ. However, 1° media from either resting mPEG-PBMC or the PEGylated MLR resulted in a significant inhibitory effect (p < 0.001) in the 2° MLR and no increase in cytokines. PEGylation of donor murine splenocytes resulted in significant in vivo immunosuppressive effects in H2-disparate mice. While unmodified allogeneic splenocytes resulted in a significant in vivo decrease in Treg and increased Th17 lymphocytes, PEGylated allogeneic splenocytes yielded significantly increased Tregs and baseline levels of Th17 lymphocytes. This effect was persistent to at least 30 days post challenge and was not reversed by unmodified allogeneic cells. These studies demonstrate that PEGylation of allogeneic lymphocytes induced an immunoquiescent state both in vitro and in vivo.

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.

The Potential Utility of Methoxypoly(ethylene Glycol)-mediated Prevention of Rhesus Blood Group Antigen RhD Recognition in Transfusion Medicine

Red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are an important clinical intervention. However, RBC express hundreds of non-ABO antigens making alloimmunization a significant risk. RhD expression is the most immunologically important non-ABO antigen. Availability of RhD(-) blood, often problematic in North America and Europe, is a significant issue in Asia and Africa where RhD(-) blood is uncommon (<0.5% of supply). The immunocamouflage of RhD is readily accomplished by the covalent grafting of methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) [mPEG] to the RBC membrane. To determine if RhD immunocamouflage would inhibit its immunologic recognition, an in vitro RhD-sensitized antigen presentation assay using PBMC and dendritic cells (DC) from RhD-sensitized women was used. The immunological effects of polymer grafting to an immunodominant RhD peptide, purified RhD protein and intact RhD(+) RBC were examined via T cell proliferation and cytokine release assays. At Day 11, PEGylation significantly attenuated T cell proliferation arising from RhD peptide (~80 → 5%), protein (36 → 0.2%) and intact RBC (33 → 1.4%). Cytokine secretion was similarly blunted following PEGylation of the purified protein or intact RBC. These data support the immunomodulatory effects of PEGylation and the potential utility of this technology in transfusion medicine - especially in situations where RhD(-) blood is rare or in short supply.

Immunocamouflage of Latex Surfaces by Grafted Methoxypoly(ethylene Glycol) (mPEG): Proteomic Analysis of Plasma Protein Adsorption

Grafting of methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) (mPEG) to cells and biomaterials is a promising non-pharmacological immunomodulation technology. However, due to the labile nature of cells, surface-plasma interactions are poorly understood; hence, a latex bead model was studied. PEGylation of beads resulted in a density and molecular weight dependent decrease in total adsorbed protein with a net reduction from (159.9±6.4) ng cm(-2) on bare latex to (18.4±0.8) and (52.3±5.3) ng cm(-2) on PEGylated beads (1 mmol L(-1) of 2 or 20 kD SCmPEG, respectively). SDS-PAGE and iTRAQ-MS analysis revealed differential compositions of the adsorbed protein layer on the PEGylated latex with a significant reduction in the compositional abundance of proteins involved in immune system activation. Thus, the biological efficacy of immunocamouflaged cells and materials is mediated by both biophysical obfuscation of antigens and reduced surface-macromolecule interactions.

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.

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