Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

A heparin-mimicking polymer conjugate stabilizes basic fibroblast growth factor


Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is a protein that plays a crucial role in diverse cellular functions, from wound healing to bone regeneration. However, a major obstacle to the widespread application of bFGF is its inherent instability during storage and delivery. Here, we describe the stabilization of bFGF by covalent conjugation with a heparin-mimicking polymer, a copolymer consisting of styrene sulfonate units and methyl methacrylate units bearing poly(ethylene glycol) side chains. The bFGF conjugate of this polymer retained bioactivity after synthesis and was stable to a variety of environmentally and therapeutically relevant stressors--such as heat, mild and harsh acidic conditions, storage and proteolytic degradation--unlike native bFGF. Following the application of stress, the conjugate was also significantly more active than the control conjugate system in which the styrene sulfonate units were omitted from the polymer structure. This research has important implications for the clinical use of bFGF and for the stabilization of heparin-binding growth factors in general.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View