Boronate-containing polymers form affinity complexes with mucin and enable tight and reversible occlusion of mucosal lumen by poly(vinyl alcohol) gel

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Abstract

Copolymers of N-acryloyl-m-aminophenylboronic acid (NAAPBA) with N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMAA) formed insoluble interpolymer complexes with mucin from porcine stomach at pH 9.0. The complex formation based on boronate–sugar interactions took place between the similarly charged macromolecules and resulted in coacervate particles formation, which depended both on pH and ionic strength of the solution. The coacervation rate displayed a maximum at the intermediate DMAA-NAAPBA copolymer: mucin weight ratio, that is a pattern typical of interpolymer complex formation. The effective hydrodynamic particle diameter of the coacervates monotonously grew from 155 ± 20 nm up to 730 ± 120 nm in 2 days in 0.1 M sodium bicarbonate buffer solution, pH 9.0. Electrophoretic mobility of the resultant nanoparticles was intermediate between those of individual polymers, whereas the particles zeta-potential was −7.5 ± 0.4 mV in the above buffer solution. Pre-treatment of the inner mucosal epithelium of excised male pig urethras with 5% (w/v) solutions of acrylamide-NAAPBA or DMAA-NAAPBA copolymers at pH 8.8 allowed for tight occlusion of the lumen by poly(vinyl alcohol) – borax gel injected via a two-way catheter. Leakage of 0.15 M NaCl solution through the thus occluded organs could be prevented, while the leakage through the organs occluded by the gel without the pre-treatment was unavoidable. The gel plug could be quickly dissolved on demand after injection of 5% (w/v) aqueous fructose solution into the lumen. The described technique may be useful for temporal occlusion of mucosal lumens in living organisms. In contrast to the conventional mucoadhesive polymers like polyacrylic acid or chitosan, the boronate-containing copolymers display their mucoadhesivity at weakly alkaline pH of 8–9 and physiological ionic strength.

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