journal article

Composition dependent protein-material interaction of poly(methyl methacrylate-co-styrene) nanoparticle series


Polymer nanoparticles continue to be of high interest in life science applications. Still, adsorption processes occurring in protein-containing media and their implications for biological responses are not generally predictable. Here, the effect of nanoparticle composition on the adsorption of bovine serum albumin (BSA), fibronectin (FN) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) as structurally and functionally different model proteins was explored by systematically altering the composition of poly(methyl methacrylate-co-styrene) nanoparticles with sizes in a range of about 550 nm. As determined by protein depletion from the suspension medium via a colorimetric assay, BSA and IgG adsorbed at similar quantities, while FN reached larger masses of adsorbed protein (up to 0.4 ± 0.06 µg·cm−2 BSA, 0.42 ± 0.09 µg·cm−2 IgG, 0.72 ± 0.04 µg·cm−2 FN). A higher content of styrene as the more hydrophobic polymer component enhanced protein binding, which suggests a contribution of hydrophobic interactions despite the particles exhibiting strongly negatively charged surfaces with zeta potentials of −44 to −52 mV. The quantities of adsorbed proteins were estimated to correspond to a confluent surface coverage. Overall, this study illustrated how protein binding can be controlled by systematically varying the nanoparticle bulk composition and may serve as a basis for establishing interfaces with a targeted level of protein retention and/or presentation.
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