Characterization of protein interactions with molecularly imprinted hydrogels that possess engineered affinity for high isoelectric point biomarkers.by Clegg, JR; Zhong, JX; Irani, AS; Gu, J; Spencer, DS; Peppas, NA
Molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) with selective affinity for protein biomarkers could find extensive utility as environmentally robust, cost-efficient biomaterials for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. In order to develop recognitive, synthetic biomaterials for prohibitively expensive protein biomarkers, we have developed a molecular imprinting technique that utilizes structurally similar, analogue proteins. Hydrogel microparticles synthesized by molecular imprinting with trypsin, lysozyme, and cytochrome c possessed an increased affinity for alternate high isoelectric point biomarkers both in isolation and plasma-mimicking adsorption conditions. Imprinted and non-imprinted P(MAA-co-Aam-co-DEAEMA) microgels containing PMAO-PEGMA functionalized polycaprolactone nanoparticles were net-anionic, polydisperse, and irregularly shaped. MIPs and control non-imprinted polymers (NIPs) exhibited regions of Freundlich and BET isotherm adsorption behavior in a range of non-competitive protein solutions, where MIPs exhibited enhanced adsorption capacity in the Freundlich isotherm regions. In a competitive condition, imprinting with analogue templates (trypsin, lysozyme) increased the adsorption capacity of microgels for cytochrome c by 162% and 219% respectively, as compared to a 122% increase provided by traditional bulk imprinting with cytochrome c. Our results suggest that molecular imprinting with analogue protein templates is a viable synthetic strategy for enhancing hydrogel-biomarker affinity and promoting specific protein adsorption behavior in biological fluids. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.