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Thermodynamic Study of the Interaction of Bovine Serum Albumin and Amino Acids with Cellulose Nanocrystals

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journal contribution
posted on 11.05.2017, 00:00 by Salvatore Lombardo, Samuel Eyley, Christina Schütz, Hans van Gorp, Sabine Rosenfeldt, Guy Van den Mooter, Wim Thielemans
The interaction of bovine serum albumin (BSA) with sulfated, carboxylated, and pyridinium-grafted cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) was studied as a function of the degree of substitution by determining the adsorption isotherm and by directly measuring the thermodynamics of interaction. The adsorption of BSA onto positively charged pyridinium-grafted cellulose nanocrystals followed Langmuirian adsorption with the maximum amount of adsorbed protein increasing linearly with increasing degree of substitution. The binding mechanism between the positively charged pyridinum-grafted cellulose nanocrystals and BSA was found to be endothermic and based on charge neutralization. A positive entropy of adsorption associated with an increase of the degree of disorder upon addition of BSA compensated for the unfavorable endothermic enthalpy and enabled formation of pyridinium–g–CNC–BSA complexes. The endothermic enthalpy of adsorption was further found to decrease as a function of increasing degree of substitution. Negatively charged cellulose nanocrystals bearing sulfate and/or carboxylic functionalities were found to not interact significantly with the BSA protein. To investigate in more detail the role of single amino acids in the adsorption of proteins onto cellulose nanocrystals, we also studied the interaction of different types of amino acids with CNCs, i.e., charged (lysine, aspartic acid), aromatic (tryptophan, tyrosine), and polar (serine) amino acids. We found that none of the single amino acids bound with CNCs irrespective of surface charge and that therefore the binding of proteins with CNCs appears to require larger amino acid sequences that induce a greater entropic contribution to stabilize binding. Single amino acids are thus not adsorbed onto cellulose nanocrystals.