Tuesday, 24 May 2005 - 9:00 AM

This presentation is part of: Stars, Branched, Graft and Dendritic Polymers

Assembly of Polysaccharide-Derivatized Star Polymers for Protein Delivery Applications

Kristi L. Kiick, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Protein-polysaccharide interactions play important roles in a myriad of physiological and pathological processes. Materials in which assembly, mechanical response, and biological properties are controlled by these interactions may therefore be responsive to the biological environment and find use in a variety of biomedical applications. Despite this potential utility, polysaccharide-peptide interactions have only recently been demonstrated as useful in the assembly of noncovalently associated networks. We report here the use of functionalized poly(ethylene glycol) star copolymers in the noncovalent assembly of hydrogels via interaction of a heparin-modified star polymer with a variety of heparin-binding proteins and peptides. The rheological properties of the hydrogels have been measured via optical probe microrheology and bulk rheology methods and can be controlled by choice of specific peptide-saccharide interactions. The release of therapeutically important proteins from these heparinized hydrogels has also been demonstrated via immunochemical and cellular assays and is correlated with the erosion of the networks. The ability to manipulate the properties of the hydrogels will provide novel materials for use in controlled drug delivery and other biomedical applications.

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