Discovery and Development of Synthetic and Natural Biomaterials for Protein Therapeutics and Medical Device Applications
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Controlling nonspecific protein interactions is important for applications from medical devices to protein therapeutics. The presented work is a compilation of efforts aimed at using zwitterionic (ionic yet charge neutral) polymers to modify and stabilize the surface of sensitive biomedical and biological materials. Traditionally, when modifying the surface of a material, the stability of the underlying substrate. The materials modified in this dissertation are unique due to their unconventional amorphous characteristics which provide additional challenges. These are poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) rubber, and proteins. These materials may seem dissimilar, but both have amorphous surfaces, that do not respond well to chemical modification. PDMS is a biomaterial extensively used in medical device manufacturing, but experiences unacceptably high levels of non-specific protein fouling when used with biological samples. To reduce protein fouling, surface modification is often needed. Unfortunately conventional surface modification methods, such as Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) coatings, do not work for PDMS due to its amorphous state. Herein, we demonstrate how a superhydrophilic zwitterionic material, poly(carboxybetaine methacrylate) (pCBMA), can provide a highly stable nonfouling coating with long term stability due to the sharp the contrast in hydrophobicity between pCBMA and PDMS. Biological materials, such as proteins, also require stabilization to improve shelf life, circulation time, and bioactivity. Conjugation of proteins with PEG is often used to increase protein stability, but has a detrimental effect on bioactivity. Here we have shown that pCBMA conjugation improves stability in a similar fashion to PEG, but also retains, or even improves, binding affinity due to enhanced protein-substrate hydrophobic interactions. Recognizing that pCBMA chemically resembles the combination of lysine (K) and glutamic acid (E) amino acids, we have shown how zwitterionic nonfouling peptides can be genetically engineered onto a protein to form recombinant protein-polymer conjugates. This technique avoids the need to post-modify proteins, that is often expensive and time consuming in protein manufacturing. Finally, we have developed two new peptide screening methods that were able to select for nonfouling peptide sequences. The selection for nonfouling sequences is not possible using traditional methods (phage display, yeast display, bacterial display and resin display) due to the presence of background interference. In our first nonfouling peptide screening method, we measured the fouling properties of peptides that were immobilized on the surface of solid glass beads. Peptides first needed to be rationally designed, and then subsequently evaluated for protein binding. Using this method, we were able to screen of 10's of sequences. Our second nonfouling peptide screening method is able to screen thousands of peptide sequences using a combinatorially generated peptide library. This was accomplished using controlled pore glass (CPG) beads as substrates to develop one-bead-one-compound (OBOC) peptide libraries. The choice of a porous substrate made it possible to synthesize enough peptide material to allow for peptide sequencing from a single bead using mass spectrometry techniques.
- Chemical engineering