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Semibranched poly(glycidol) (PG-OH) and poly(glycidol allylglycidyl ether) (PG-Allyl) coatings were formed on ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UMWPE) in a unique two-step process which included radiation of UHMWPE followed by grafting of PG-OH or PG-Allyl to the surface via free radical cross-linking. Resulting surfaces were extensively characterized by FTIR-ATR, XPS, fluorescent microscopy, and contact goniometry. The performance was evaluated using the most prominent biofilm-forming bacteria Staphylococcus aureus for 24 and 48 h. The PG-Allyl coating demonstrated a 3 log reduction in biofilm growth compared to noncoated control, demonstrating a promising potential to inhibit adherence and colonization of biofilm-forming bacteria that often develop into persistent infections.
Polymer properties can be tailored by copolymerizing subunits with specific physico-chemical characteristics. Vascular stent materials require biocompatibility, mechanical strength, and prevention of restenosis. Here we copolymerized poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL), poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), and carboxyl-PCL (cPCL) at varying molar ratios and characterized the resulting material properties. We then performed a short-term evaluation of these polymers for their applicability as potential coronary stent coating materials with two primary human coronary artery cell types: smooth muscle cells (HCASMC) and endothelial cells (HCAEC). Changes in proliferation and phenotype were dependent upon intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, and 4%PEG-96%PCL-0%cPCL was identified as the most appropriate coating material for this application. After 3days on this substrate HCASMC maintained a healthy contractile phenotype and HCAEC exhibited a physiologically relevant proliferation rate and a balanced redox state. Other test substrates promoted a pathological, synthetic phenotype of HCASMC and/or hyperproliferation of HCAEC. Phenotypic changes of HCASMC appeared to be modulated by the Young's modulus and surface charge of the test substrates, indicating a structure-function relationship that can be exploited for intricate control over vascular cell functions. These data indicate that tailored copolymer properties can direct vascular cell behavior and provide insights for further development of biologically instructive stent coating materials.
Copyright © 2011 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Monolayer-protected gold nanoparticles have great potential as novel building blocks for the design of new drugs and therapeutics based on the easy ability to multifunctionalize them for biological targeting and drug activity. In order to create nanoparticles that are biocompatible in vivo, polyethylene glycol functional groups have been added to many previous multifunctionalized particles to eliminate nonspecific binding. Recently, monolayer-protected gold nanoparticles with mercaptoglycine functionalities were shown to elicit deleterious effects on the kidney in vivo that were eliminated by incorporating a long-chain, mercapto-undecyl-tetraethylene glycol at very high loadings into a mixed monolayer. These long-chain PEGs induced an immune response to the particle presumably generating an anti-PEG antibody as seen in other long-chain PEG-ylated nanoparticles in vivo. In the present work, we explore the in vivo effects of high and low percent ratios of a shorter chain, mercapto-tetraethylene glycol within the monolayer using simple place-exchange reactions. The shorter chain PEG MPCs were expected to have better water solubility due to elimination of the alkyl chain, no toxicity, and long-term circulation in vivo. Shorter chain lengths at lower concentrations should not trigger the immune system to create an anti-PEG antibody. We found that a 10% molar exchange of this short-chain PEG within the monolayer met three of the desired goals: high water solubility, no toxicity, and no immune response as measured by white blood cell counts. However, none of the short-chain PEG mixed monolayer compositions enabled the nanoparticles to have a long circulation time within the blood as compared to mercapto-undecyl-ethylene glycol, which had a residence time of 4 weeks. We also compared the effects of a hydroxyl versus a carboxylic acid terminal functional group on the end of the PEG thiol on both clearance and immune response. The results indicate that short-chain-length PEGs, regardless of termini, increase clearance rates compared to the previous long-chain PEG studies, while carboxylated termini increase red blood cell counts at high loadings. Given these findings, short-chain, alcohol-terminated PEG, exchanged at 10%, was identified as a potential nanoparticle for further in vivo applications requiring short circulation lifetimes with desired features of no toxicity, no immune response, and high water solubility.
Semiconductor quantum dots are quickly becoming a critical diagnostic tool for discerning cellular function at the molecular level. Their high brightness, long-lasting, size-tunable, and narrow luminescence set them apart from conventional fluorescence dyes. Quantum dots are being developed for a variety of biologically oriented applications, including fluorescent assays for drug discovery, disease detection, single protein tracking, and intracellular reporting. This review introduces the science behind quantum dots and describes how they are made biologically compatible. Several applications are also included, illustrating strategies toward target specificity, and are followed by a discussion on the limitations of quantum dot approaches. The article is concluded with a look at the future direction of quantum dots.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Functionalization of highly fluorescent CdSe/ZnS core-shell nanocrystals (quantum dots, qdots) is an emerging technology for labeling cell surface proteins. We have synthesized a conjugate consisting of approximately 150-200 muscimols (a GABA receptor agonist) covalently joined to the qdot via a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) linker (approximately 78 ethylene glycol units) and investigated the binding of this muscimol-PEG-qdot conjugate to homomeric rho1 GABAC receptors expressed in Xenopus oocytes. GABAC receptors mediate inhibitory synaptic signaling at multiple locations in the central nervous system (CNS). Binding of the conjugate was analyzed quantitatively by determining the fluorescence intensity of the oocyte surface membrane in relation to that of the surrounding incubation medium. Upon 5- to 10-min incubation with muscimol-PEG-qdots (34 nM in qdot concentration), GABAC-expressing oocytes exhibited a fluorescent halo at the surface membrane that significantly exceeded the fluorescence of the incubation medium. This halo was absent following muscimol-PEG-qdot treatment of oocytes lacking GABAC receptors. Incubation of the oocyte with free muscimol (100 microM-5 mM), PEG-muscimol (500 microM), or GABA (100 microM - 5 mM) substantially reduced or eliminated the fluorescence halo produced by muscimol-PEG-qdots, and the removal of GABA or free muscimol led to a recovery of muscimol-PEG-qdot binding. Unconjugated qdots and PEG-qdots that lacked conjugated muscimol neither exhibited significant binding activity nor diminished the subsequent binding of muscimol-PEG-qdots. The results indicate that muscimol joined to qdots via a long-chain PEG linker exhibits specific binding activity at the ligand-binding pocket of expressed GABAC receptors, despite the presence of both the long PEG linker and the sterically bulky qdot.
We seek to improve existing methodologies for allogenic grafting of pancreatic islets. The lack of success of encapsulated transplanted islets inside the peritoneal cavity is presently attributed to poor vascularization of the implant. A thick, fibrotic capsule often surrounds the graft, limiting survival. We have tested the hypothesis that neovascularization of the graft material can be induced by the addition of proper angiogenic factors embedded within a polymeric coat. Biocompatible and nonresorbable meshes coated with hydrophilic polymers were implanted in rats and harvested after 1-, 6-, and 12-week intervals. The implant response was assessed by histological observations on the degree of vascularity, fibrosis, and inflammation. Macrostructural geometry of meshes was conducive to tissue ingrowth into the interstitial space between the mesh filaments. Hydrogel coating with incorporated acidic or basic FGF in an electrostatic complex with polyelectrolytes and/or with heparin provided a sustained slow release of the angiogenic growth factor. Anti-factor VIII and anti-collagen type IV antibodies and a GSL I-B4 lectin were used to measure the extent of vascularization. Vigorous and persistent vascularization radiated several hundred microns from the implant. The level of vascularization should provide a sufficient diffusion of nutrients and oxygen to implanted islets. Based on our observations, stable vascularization may require a sustained angiogenic signal to allow for the development of a permanent implant structure.