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Water-in-Silicone Oil Emulsion Stabilizing Surfactants Formed From Native Albumin and α,ω-Triethoxysilylpropyl-Polydimethylsiloxane

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journal contribution
posted on 11.08.2008, 00:00 by Paul M. Zelisko, Kulwinder K. Flora, John D. Brennan, Michael A. Brook
Contact with hydrophobic silicones frequently leads to protein denaturation. However, it is demonstrated that albumin in water-in-silicone oil emulsions retains its native structure in the presence of a functional, triethoxysilyl-terminated silicone polymer, TES-PDMS. Both HSA and TES-PDMS were essential for the formation of stable water-in-silicone oil emulsions: attempts to generate stable emulsions using independently either the protein or the functionalized silicone as a surfactant failed. Confocal microscopy indicated that the human serum albumin (HSA) preferentially adsorbed at the oil/water interface, even in the presence of another protein (glucose oxidase). A variety of experiments demonstrated that the hydrolysis of the Si-OEt groups on the functional silicone occurred only to a limited extent, consistent with the absence of a covalent linkage between the silicone and protein, or of cross-linked silicones at the interface. The fluorescence spectra of HSA extracted from the emulsions, front-faced fluorescence experiments on the HSA/silicone emulsion itself, and HSA/salicylate binding studies all demonstrated that the stability of the water/oil interface decreased as the protein began to unfold: unfolding of the protein in the emulsion was slower than in aqueous solution. The experimental evidence indicated that the interaction between HSA and TES-PDMS is not associated with either homomolecular (HSA/HSA; TES-PDMS/TES-PDMS) interactions or with covalent linkage between two the polymers. Rather, the data is consistent with the direct binding of unhydrolyzed Si(OEt)3 groups to native HSA. The nature of these interactions is discussed.