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Int J Biol Macromol. 2017 Feb;95:704-712. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.11.108. Epub 2016 Dec 2.

Surface rearrangement of adsorbed EGCG-mucin complexes on hydrophilic surfaces.

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Department of Materials, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, UK; Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Rd, Cambridge, CB2 1EW, UK.
Department of Materials, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, UK; Nanobiosensorics Laboratory, MTA-EK-MFA, Konkoly-Thege Miklós út 29-33, 1121 Budapest, Hungary.
Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, 4072, Australia; Unilever Discover, Unilever, Colworth Science Park, Bedfordshire, MK44 1LQ, UK. Electronic address:
Department of Materials, Cranfield University, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, UK; Clore Laboratory, University of Buckingham, MK18 1EG, UK. Electronic address:


The kinetic adsorption-desorption behaviour of porcine gastric mucin in the presence of physiologically relevant concentrations of the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) was investigated using high-resolution kinetic optical waveguide lightmode spectroscopy (OWLS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Comparison with dynamic light scattering results from EGCG-mucin mixtures indicates that discrete particles are formed whose size increases with increasing EGCG:mucin ratio. These particles are deduced to be the adsorbing entities, which fuse on the surface to form complex surface layers. At low molar EGCG:mucin ratios (<∼1000), aggregates fuse on the surface to form a monolayer similar to one of pure mucin. With increasing EGCG concentration, the surface assembly of aggregates becomes consistent with their rearrangement and spreading in the shape of a spherical segment. At the highest molar ratios investigated (>12,000) the particles begin to destabilize. The presence of EGCG leads to birefringence hysteresis during adsorption-desorption, indicating structural rearrangement, even at molar ratios ∼1000. The intensification of the phenomenon with increasing EGCG:mucin ratio mimics what was previously observed with the increase of mucin concentration in an EGCG-free system.


Clustering; Glycoprotein; Hysteresis; Kinetics; OWLS; Polyphenol

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