Direct measurement of interactions between tethered poly(ethylene glycol) chains and adsorbed mucin layers

N. V. Efremova, Y. Huang, N. A. Peppas, D. E. Leckband

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Direct force measurements were used to investigate the interactions between grafted poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) (Mw 2000) and both adsorbed and soluble bovine submaxillary gland mucin. These measurements show that both soluble and adsorbed mucin adhere weakly to the grafted PEG layers. Soluble mucin mediates a concentration-dependent, bridging attraction between the PEG films. Similarly, PEG adheres to adsorbed mucin layers in both the presence and absence of 0.2 mg/mL mucin solutions. The heteropolymer attraction is pH dependent, with the adhesion being substantially higher at pH 2 than at pH 7.2. The latter suggests that hydrogen-bonding interactions are responsible for binding. The weaker mucin interactions at pH 7.2, however, allow for PEG-coated surfaces to adhere to surface-bound mucin in the presence of soluble mucin. Such characteristics are particularly desirable for coatings for oral drug carriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)836-845
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 5 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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