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Tuning the Properties of Polymer Capsules for Cellular Interactions

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journal contribution
posted on 26.05.2017, 15:22 by Huanli Sun, Jiwei Cui, Yi Ju, Xi Chen, Edgar H. H. Wong, Jenny Tran, Greg G. Qiao, Frank Caruso
Particle–cell interactions are governed by, among other factors, the composition and surface properties of the particles. Herein, we report the preparation of various polymer capsules with different compositions and properties via atom transfer radical polymerization mediated continuous assembly of polymers (CAPATRP), where the cellular interactions of these capsules, particularly fouling and specific targeting, are examined by flow cytometry and deconvolution microscopy. Acrylated eight-arm poly­(ethylene glycol) (8-PEG) and poly­(N-(2-hydroxypropyl)-methacrylamide) (PHPMA) as well as methacrylated hyaluronic acid (HA), poly­(glutamic acid) (PGA), and poly­(methacrylic acid) (PMA) are used as macro-cross-linkers to obtain a range of polymer capsules with different compositions (PEG, PHPMA, HA, PGA, and PMA). Capsules composed of low-fouling polymers, PEG and PHPMA, show negligible association with macrophage Raw 264.7, monocyte THP-1, and HeLa cells. HA capsules, although moderately low-fouling (<22%) to HeLa, BT474, Raw 264.7, and THP-1 cells, exhibit high targeting specificity to CD44-over-expressing MDA-MB-231 cells. In contrast, PGA and PMA capsules show high cellular association toward phagocytic Raw 264.7 and THP-1 cells. These findings demonstrate the capability of the CAPATRP technique in preparing polymer capsules with specific cellular interactions.