Polylysine-PEG copolymer barriers with dual character of both adsorption to tissue and prevention of cell adhesion

Dong Keun Han, Donald L. Hbert, Jeffrey A. Hubbell, Jong Man Kim, Kwang Duk Ahn

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The biocompatible barriers with dual character for surface active agents like biosurfactants were made by reacting cationic polylysine (PL) with nonionic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) to give block and graft PL-PEG copolymers, PL-6-PEG and poly-L-lysine (PLL)-g-PEG. In particular, PL-6-PEG block copolymers were synthesized by a new method using an activated succinimidyl ester of carboxymethylated MPEG (SCM-MPEG) and a blocked poly-ε-CBZ-lysine (PLZ). One component, PL, adsorbs to a cell or a tissue surface, and the other, PEG, which has no strong interaction with the surface, dangles away from it, thus blocks the adhesion of the cells or tissues to the surface. The chemical structures of the intermediates and copolymers were confirmed by 1H NMR, titration, and UV. The self-as-sembling PLL-g-PEG copolymers significantly reduced the adhesion of human foreskin fibroblasts (HFFs) and red blood cells (RBCs) due to the nonadhesive property and chain mobility of PEG attached, whereas PL-b-PEG did not. It, therefore, suggests that graft copolymers are more desirable than block ones in prevention of cell-tissue interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1006
Number of pages8
JournalPolymer (Korea)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1998 Dec 1



  • Biocompatible barriers
  • Biosurfactants
  • Cell-tissue interactions
  • Polylysine-PEG copolymers
  • Prevention of adhesions

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