Nanopatterned Protein Films Directed by Ionic Complexation with Water-Soluble Diblock Copolymers
Author(s)Kim, Bokyung; Olsen, Bradley D.; Lam, Christopher Nguyen
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The use of ionic interactions to direct both protein templating and block copolymer self-assembly into nanopatterned films with only aqueous processing conditions is demonstrated using block copolymers containing both thermally responsive and pH responsive blocks. Controlled reversible addition–fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization is employed to synthesize poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-b-2-(dimethylamino)ethyl acrylate) (PNIPAM-b-PDMAEA) diblock copolymers. The pH-dependent ionic complexation between the fluorescent protein, mCherry, and the ionic PDMAEA block is established using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and UV–vis spectroscopy. DLS shows that the size of the resulting coacervate micelles depends strongly on pH, while UV–vis spectroscopy shows a correlation between the protein’s absorption maximum and the ionic microenvironment. Zeta potential measurements clearly indicate the ionic nature of the complex-forming interactions. Spin-casting was used to prepare nanostructured films from the protein–block copolymer coacervates. After film formation, the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of the PNIPAM blocks allows the nanomaterial to be effectively immobilized in aqueous environments at physiological temperatures, enabling potential use as a controlled protein release material or polymer matrix for protein immobilization. At pH 9.2 and 7.8, the release rates are at least 10 times faster than that at pH 6.4 due to weaker interaction between protein and PNIPAM-b-PDMAEA (PND) diblock copolymer. Because of the ionic environment in which protein is confined, the majority of the protein (80%) remains active, independent of pH, even after having been dehydrated in vacuum and confined in the films.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemical Engineering
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Kim, Bokyung, Christopher N. Lam, and Bradley D. Olsen. “Nanopatterned Protein Films Directed by Ionic Complexation with Water-Soluble Diblock Copolymers.” Macromolecules 45, no. 11 (June 12, 2012): 4572–4580.
Author's final manuscript