[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The size, charge, and stability of colloidal suspensions of magnetic nanoparticles with narrow size distribution and grafted with poly(ethylene glycol)-silane of different molecular weights were studied in water, biological buffers, and cell culture media. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy provided information on the chemical nature of the nanoparticle surface, indicating the particle surfaces consisted of a mixture of amine groups and grafted polymer. The results indicate that the exposure of the amine groups on the surface decreased as the molecular weight of the polymer increased. The hydrodynamic diameters correlated with PEG graft molecular weight and were in agreement with a distributed density model for the thickness of a polymer shell end-grafted to a particle core. This indicates that the particles obtained consist of single iron oxide cores coated with a polymer brush. Particle surface charge and hydrodynamic diameter were measured as a function of pH, ionic strength, and in biological buffers and cell culture media. DLVO theory was used to analyze the particle stability considering electrostatic, magnetic, steric, and van der Waals interactions. Experimental results and colloidal stability theory indicated that stability changes from electrostatically mediated for a graft molecular weight of 750 g/mol to sterically mediated at molecular weights of 1000 g/mol and above. These results indicate that a graft molecular weight above 1000 g/mol is needed to produce particles that are stable in a wide range of pH and ionic strength, and in cell culture media.
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 03/2012; 377(1):40-50. DOI:10.1016/j.jcis.2012.03.050 · 3.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a hygroscopic polymer that undergoes the phenomenon of deliquescence once a critical relative humidity (RH(0)) is reached. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the deliquescence behavior of PEG will be affected by the polymer molecular weight, temperature, and the presence of additives. The deliquescence relative humidity for single component (RH(0)) and binary mixtures (RH(0,mix)) were measured using an automated gravimetric moisture analyzer at 25 and 40 degrees C. Changes in PEG crystallinity after exposure to moisture were qualitatively assessed using powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD). Optical microscopy was used to visually observe the deliquescence phenomenon. For single component systems, decreasing PEG MW and elevating the temperature resulted in a decrease in the observed RH(0). Physical mixtures of acetaminophen and anhydrous citric acid with both PEG 3350 and PEG 100,000 exhibited deliquescence (RH(0,mix)) at a relative humidity below that of either individual component. Qualitative changes in crystallinity were observed from the X-ray diffractograms for each PEG MW grade at high relative humidities, indicating that phase transformation (deliquescence) of the samples had occurred. In conclusion, it was found that the deliquescence behavior of PEG was affected by the polymer MW, temperature, and the presence of additives. This phenomenon may have important implications for the stability of PEG containing formulations.