Our latest research results just got published as article in Polymer Chemistry.
Congratulations to the joint first authors, Elena from our group and Johannes from the Frey group in Mainz!
The paper describes the preparation of a protein nanoparticle system based on cytochrome c, which was modified with acid-degradable polyethylene glycol. The degradable PEG polymer was developed in the Frey group. It contains vinyl ether moieties distributed in the polyether backbone, which enables particle degradation at slightly acidic pH.

“pH-Responsive Protein Nanoparticles via Conjugation of Degradable PEG to the Surface of Cytochrome c
E. Steiert, J. Ewald, A. Wagner, U. A. Hellmich, H. Frey and P. R. Wich
Polymer Chemistry, 2019, Advance Article. (DOI: 10.1039/C9PY01162E)
(Special collection: Polymer Chemistry Emerging Investigators 2020)

Proteins represent a versatile biopolymer material for the preparation of nanoparticles. For drug delivery applications an acid-triggered disassembly and payload release is preferred. Herein, we present a protein nanoparticle system based on cytochrome c, which is surface-modified with acid-degradable polyethylene glycol (PEGylation). pH-Sensitivity was obtained through vinyl ether moieties distributed in the polyether backbone. When PEGylated, cytochrome c shows a different solubility behaviour in organic solvents, which allows for particle preparation using an emulsion-based solvent evaporation method. The resulting particles are stable under physiological conditions but degrade at acidic pH values. Fluorescence-labelled dextran was successfully encapsulated as a hydrophilic model payload in these degradable nanoparticles and a release under acidic conditions was observed.


pH-Responsive protein nanoparticles via conjugation of degradable PEG to the surface of cytochrome c





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