Kinetics of the Nanohydrogel Flattening at a Hydrophobic Interface
Hydrophobitized polysaccharides were designed to form the self-assembled nanohydrogels (hydrogel nanoparticles) in the aqueous conditions. For improving their biocompatibilities, they were decorated with the biomembrane-mimetic 2-methacryloyloxyethy1 phosphory1choline (MPC) polymers. The interfacial roles of the decorated membrane-mimetic nanohydrogels were investigated by choosing MPC branched choresteryl-bearing pullulan (CHP). Tapping-mode atomic force microscopy was used to study its adsorption mechanism on the hydrophobic highly oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) surface in aqueous conditions. Dynamic observation at the interfaces revealed two distinctive patterns: the immobilized nanohydrogel particles and the flatten layers. The flattening (unfolding) kinetics with and without MPC branched nanohydrogel revealed that the flattening energy was at ∼37 kBT. The flattening rate of the MPC decorated nanohydrogels was ∼1.7 times faster than that without MPC decoration, corresponding to minor reduction of the flattening activation energy.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-07-01
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