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Biomacromolecules. 2016 Jan 11;17(1):88-97. doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.5b01216. Epub 2015 Dec 14.

Interaction Forces between Supported Lipid Bilayers in the Presence of PEGylated Polymers.

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Canada Research Chair in Bio-Inspired Materials, Faculté de Pharmacie, Université de Montréal , C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec H3T1J4, Canada.


Using the surface forces apparatus (SFA), interaction forces between supported lipid bilayers were measured in the presence of polyethylene glycol and two other commercially available pegylated triblock polymers, Pluronic F68 and F127. Pluronic F68 has a smaller central hydrophobic block compared to F127 and therefore is more hydrophilic. The study aimed to unravel the effects of polymer architecture and composition on the interactions between the bilayers. Our keys findings show that below the critical aggregation concentration (CAC) of the polymers, a soft, weakly anchored, polymer layer is formed on the surface of the bilayers. The anchoring strength of this physisorbed layer was found to increase significantly with the size of the hydrophobic block of the polymer, and was strongest for the more hydrophobic polymer, F127. Above the CAC, a dense polymer layer, exhibiting gel-like properties, was found to rapidly grow on the bilayers even after mechanical disruption. The cohesive interaction maintaining the gel layer structure was found to be stronger for F127, and was also found to promote the formation of highly structured aggregates on the bilayers.

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