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The improvement of biomedical properties, e.g. biocompatibility, of poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs) by copolymerization is a promising trend in bioengineering. We used strain Azotobacter chroococcum 7B, an effective producer of PHAs, for biosynthesis of not only poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and its main copolymer, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHB-HV), but also alternative copolymer, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)-poly(ethylene glycol) (PHB-PEG). In biosynthesis we used sucrose as the primary carbon source and valeric acid or poly(ethylene glycol) 300 (PEG 300) as additional carbon sources. The chemical structure of PHB-PEG and PHB-HV was confirmed by 1H nuclear-magnetic resonance (1H NMR) analysis. The physico-chemical properties (molecular weight, crystallinity, hydrophilicity, surface energy) and surface morphology of films from PHB copolymers were studied. To study copolymers biocompatibility in vitro the protein adsorption and COS-1 fibroblasts growth on biopolymer films by XTT assay were analyzed. Both copolymers had changed physico-chemical properties compared to PHB homopolymer: PHB-HV and PHB-PEG had less crystallinity than PHB; PHB-HV was more hydrophobic than PHB in contrast to PHB-PEG appeared to have greater hydrophilicity than PHB; whereas the morphology of polymer films did not differ significantly. The protein adsorption to PHB-PEG was greater and more uniform than to PHB and PHB-PEG copolymer promoted better growth of COS-1 fibroblasts compared with PHB homopolymer. Thus, despite low EG-monomers content in bacterial origin PHB-PEG copolymer, this polymer demonstrated significant improvement in biocompatibility in contrast to PHB and PHB-HV copolymers, which may be coupled with increased protein adsorption and hydrophilicity of PEG-containing copolymer.


Anton P Bonartsev, Sergey G Yakovlev, Irina I Zharkova, Arasha P Boskhomdzhiev, Dmitrii V Bagrov, Vera L Myshkina, Tatiana K Makhina, Elena P Kharitonova, Olga V Samsonova, Alexey V Feofanov, Vera V Voinova, Anton L Zernov, Yurii M Efremov, Garina A Bonartseva, Konstantin V Shaitan, Michail P Kirpichnikov. Cell attachment on poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)-poly(ethylene glycol) copolymer produced by Azotobacter chroococcum 7B. BMC biochemistry. 2013;14:12

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PMID: 23692611

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