Lectin-Functionalized Polyethylene Glycol for Relief of Mucosal Dryness

Matthew Blakeley*, Prashant K Sharma, Hans J Kaper, Nagihan Bostanci, Thomas Crouzier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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The importance of lubrication between oral surfaces provided by the salivary film is most acutely apparent when it is disrupted, a prevalent consequence of salivary gland hypofunction experienced with aging, a symptom of certain diseases, or a side effect of some medical interventions. Sufferers report difficulty with speech and oral food processing and collectively is detrimental to quality of life. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is widely employed as a successful biocompatible boundary lubricant in engineering and biomedical applications. It is hypothesized that the immobilization of PEG to biological materials such as oral epithelial cells and tissue can mimic the salivary film and provide durable relief from the symptoms of mucosal dryness. To do so, PEG is functionalized with a sugar binding lectin (wheat germ agglutinin) to enhance epithelial adhesion through lectin-sugar interactions. Retention and lubricity are characterized on an ex vivo oral tissue tribology rig. WGA-PEG coats and retains on mucin films, oral epithelial cells, and porcine tongue tissue, and offers sustained reduction in coefficient of friction (COF). WGA-PEG could be developed into a useful topical treatment for reducing oral friction and the perception of dry mouth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2101719
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced healthcare materials
Issue number2
Early online date28-Oct-2021
Publication statusPublished - 19-Jan-2022

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