Serum Protein-Resistant Behavior of Multisite-Bound Poly(ethylene 2 glycol) Chains on Iron Oxide Surfaces



N. Giamblanco, G. Marletta, A. Graillot, N. Bia, C. Loubat, J-F. Berret


ACS Omega, 2, 4, 1309-1320


5th April 2017


Recent surveys have shown that the number of nanoparticle-based formulations actually used at a clinical level is significantly lower than that expected a decade ago. One reason for this is that the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles fall short for handling the complexity of biological environments and preventing nonspecific protein adsorption. In this study, we address the issue of the interactions of plasma proteins with polymer-coated surfaces. With this aim, we use a noncovalent grafting-to method to functionalize iron oxide sub-10 nm nanoparticles and iron oxide flat substrates and compare their protein responses. The functionalized copolymers consist of alternating poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chains and phosphonic acid grafted on the same backbone. Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation was used to monitor polymer adsorption kinetics and evaluate the resistance to protein adsorption. On flat substrates, functionalized PEG copolymers adsorb and form a brush in moderate or highly stretched regimes, with densities between 0.15 and 1.5 nm–2. PEG layers using phosphonic acid as linkers exhibit excellent protein resistance. In contrast, layers prepared with carboxylic acid as the grafting agent exhibit mitigated protein responses and layer destructuration. The present study establishes a correlation between the long-term stability of PEG-coated particles in biofluids and the protein resistance of surfaces coated with the same polymers.


Organophosphorus compounds, Metal oxide nanoparticles, Nanoparticles, Polymers, Copolymers

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