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Polymers (Basel). 2020 Feb 9;12(2). pii: E390. doi: 10.3390/polym12020390.

Clinically Relevant Insulin Degludec and its Interaction with Polysaccharides: A Biophysical Examination.

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University of Nottingham, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Queen's Medical Centre, Clifton Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 2HA, UK.
University of Nottingham, School of Biosciences, Sutton Bonington Campus, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK.


Protein polysaccharide complexes have been widely studied for multiple industrial applications and are popular due to their biocompatibility. Insulin degludec, an analogue of human insulin, exists as di-hexamer in pharmaceutical formulations and has the potential to form long multi-hexamers in physiological environment, which dissociate into monomers to bind with receptors on the cell membrane. This study involved complexation of two negatively charged bio-polymers xanthan and alginate with clinically-relevant insulin degludec (PIC). The polymeric complexations and interactions were investigated using biophysical methods. Intrinsic viscosity [η] and particle size distribution (PSD) of PIC increased significantly with an increase in temperature, contrary to the individual components indicating possible interactions. [η] trend was X > XA > PIC > A > IDeg. PSD trend was X>A>IDeg>XA>PIC. Zeta (ζ)- potential (with general trend of IDeg < A < XA < X ≈ PIC) revealed stable interaction at lower temperature which gradually changed with an increase in temperature. Likewise, sedimentation velocity indicated stable complexation at lower temperature. With an increase in time and temperature, changes in the number of peaks and area under curve were observed for PIC. Conclusively, stable complexation occurred among the three polymers at 4 °C and 18 °C and the complex dissociated at 37 °C. Therefore, the complex has the potential to be used as a drug delivery vehicle.


alginate; complexations; insulin degludec; interactions; xanthan

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