A biocompatible betaine-functionalized polycation for coacervation

Mintai P. Hwang, Xiaochu Ding, Jin Gao, Abhinav P. Acharya, Steven R. Little, Yadong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The aqueous nature of complex coacervates provides a biologically-relevant context for various therapeutic applications. In this sense, biological applications demand a corresponding level of biocompatibility from the polyelectrolytes that participate in complex coacervation. Continued development with naturally-occurring polyelectrolytes such as heparin and chitosan underscore such aims. Herein, we design a synthetic polycation, in which betaine is conjugated to a biodegradable polyester backbone. Betaine is a naturally-occurring methylated amino acid that is ubiquitously present in human plasma. Inspired by its vast range of benefits-including but not limited to anti-inflammation, anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, protein stabilization, and cardiovascular health-we aim to impart additional functionality to a polycation for eventual use in a complex coacervate with heparin. We report on its in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility, in vitro and in vivo effect on angiogenesis, in vitro effect on microbial growth, and ability to form complex coacervates with heparin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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