Amphiphilic polymers bearing hydrophobic alkyl groups are expected to be applicable for both ligand presentation on the cell surface and intercellular crosslinking. To explore the optimum design for each application, we synthesized eight different acyl-modified dextrans with varying molecular weight, alkyl length, and alkyl modification degree. We found that the behenate-modified polymers retained on the cell surface longer than the palmitate-modified ones. Since the polymers were also modified with biotin, streptavidin can be presented on the cell surface through biotin-streptavidin recognition. The duration of streptavidin on the cell surface is longer in the behenate-modified polymer than the palmitate-modified one. As for the intercellular crosslinking, the palmitate-modified polymers were more efficient than the behenate-modified polymers. The findings in this research will be helpful to design the acyl-modified polymers for the cell surface engineering.
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