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Acta Biomater. 2014 Jan;10(1):40-6. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2013.09.012. Epub 2013 Sep 25.

Lysine-based polycation:heparin coacervate for controlled protein delivery.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA; McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, USA.


Polycations have good potential as carriers of proteins and genetic material. However, poor control over the release rate and safety issues currently limit their use as delivery vehicles. Here we introduce a new lysine-based polycation, poly(ethylene lysinylaspartate diglyceride) (PELD), which exhibits high cytocompatibility. PELD self-assembles with the biological polyanion heparin into a coacervate that incorporates proteins with high loading efficiency. Coacervates of varying surface charge were obtained by simple alteration of the PELD:heparin ratio and resulted in diverse release profiles of the model protein bovine serum albumin. Therefore, coacervate charge represents a direct means of control over release rate and duration. The PELD coacervate also rapidly adsorbed onto a porous polymeric scaffold, demonstrating potential use in tissue engineering applications. This coacervate represents a safe and tunable protein delivery system for biomedical applications.


Coacervate; Controlled release; Heparin; Lysine; Polycation

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