Influence of polymer architecture on antigens camouflage, CD47 protection and complement mediated lysis of surface grafted red blood cells
Hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG) and polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymers with similar hydrodynamic sizes in solution were grafted to red blood cells (RBCs) to investigate the impact of polymer architecture on the cell structure and function. The hydrodynamic sizes of polymers were calculated from the diffusion coefficients measured by pulsed field gradient NMR. The hydration of the HPG and PEG was determined by differential scanning calorimetry analyses. RBCs grafted with linear PEG had different properties compared to the compact HPG grafted RBCs. HPG grafted RBCs showed much higher electrophoretic mobility values than PEG grafted RBCs at similar grafting concentrations and hydrodynamic sizes indicating differences in the structure of the polymer exclusion layer on the cell surface. PEG grafting impacted the deformation properties of the membrane to a greater degree than HPG. The complement mediated lysis of the grafted RBCs was dependent on the type of polymer, grafting concentration and molecular size of grafted chains. At higher molecular weights and graft concentrations both HPG and PEG triggered complement activation. The magnitude of activation was higher with HPG possibly due to the presence of many hydroxyl groups per molecule. HPG grafted RBCs showed significantly higher levels of CD47 self-protein accessibility than PEG grafted RBCs at all grafting concentrations and molecular sizes. PEG grafted polymers provided, in general, a better shielding and protection to ABO and minor antigens from antibody recognition than HPG polymers, however, the compact HPGs provided greater protection of certain antigens on the RBC surface. Our data showed that HPG 20 kDa and HPG 60 kDa grafted RBCs exhibited properties that are more comparable to the native RBC than PEG 5 kDa and PEG 10 kDa grafted RBCs of comparable hydrodynamic sizes. The study shows that small compact polymers such as HPG 20 kDa have a greater potential in the generation of functional RBC for therapeutic delivery applications. The intermediate sized polymers (PEG or HPG) which showed greater antigen camouflage at lower grafting concentrations have significant potential in transfusion as universal red blood donor cells.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 33, Issue 31, November 2012, Pages 7871–7883