Effect of PEG–PDMAEMA Block Copolymer Architecture on Polyelectrolyte Complex Formation with Heparin

Heparin is a naturally occurring polyelectrolyte consisting of a sulfated polysaccharide backbone. It is widely used as an anticoagulant during major surgical operations. However, the associated bleeding risks require rapid neutralization after the operation. The only clinically approved antidote for heparin is protamine sulfate, which is, however, ineffective against low molecular weight heparin and can cause severe adverse reactions in patients. In this study, the facile synthesis of cationic-neutral diblock copolymers and their effective heparin binding is presented. Poly(ethylene glycol)–poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PEG–PDMAEMA) block copolymers were synthesized in two steps via atom-transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) using PEG as a macroinitiator. Solution state binding between heparin and a range of PEG–PDMAEMA block copolymers and one homopolymer was studied with dynamic light scattering and methylene blue displacement assay. Also in vitro binding in plasma was studied by utilizing a chromogenic heparin anti-Xa assay. Additionally, quartz crystal microbalance and multiparametric surface plasmon resonance were used to study the surface adsorption kinetics of the polymers on a heparin layer. It was shown that the block copolymers and heparin form electrostatically bound complexes with varying colloidal properties, where the block lengths play a key role in controlling the heparin binding affinity, polyelectrolyte complex size and surface charge. With the optimized polymers (PEG114PDMAEMA52 and PEG114PDMAEMA100), heparin could be neutralized in a dose-dependent manner, and bound efficiently into small neutral complexes, with a hydrodynamic radius less than 100 nm. These complexes had only a limited effect on cell viability. Based on these studies, our approach paves the way for the development of new polymeric heparin binding agents.

Publication year: 2016
Authors: Välimäki S. 1, Khakalo A. 2, Ora A. 1, Johansson L.-S. 2, Rojas O.J. 2, Kostiainen M.A. 1
1 – Biohybrid Materials, Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology, Aalto University, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
2 – Biobased Colloids and Materials, Department of Forest Products Technology, Aalto University, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
Published in: Biomacromolecules, 2016, Vol. 17(9), p. 2891-900
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.6b00699


adsorbed mass adsorption of polymer on heparin anticoagulant diblock copolymer heparin antidote heparin binding layer thickness polyelectrolyte


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