Stiffness-Dependent Intracellular Location of Cylindrical Polymer Brushes

14 Oct 2021

Cylindrical polymer brushes (CPBs) are macromolecules with nanoparticle proportions. Their modular synthesis enables tailoring of their chemical composition as well as the dialing-up of overall dimensions and physicochemical properties. In this study, two rod-like poly[(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate] (PEGMA)-based CPBs with varying stiffness but otherwise comparable features and functionality, are synthesized. Differences in particle stiffness are assessed using small angle neutron scattering (SANS). It is observed that the fate of the two CPBs within cells is distinctly different. Stiffer CPBs seem to gravitate toward the mitochondria, whereas CPBs with reduced stiffness are present in different intracellular vesicles.