Characterization of methylprednisolone esters of hyaluronan in aqueous solution: Conformation and aggregation behavior

Anna Taglienti, Massimiliano Valentini, Paolo Sequi, Vittorio Crescenzi

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Methylprednisolone steroid esters of hyaluronan differing in degree of functionalization and molecular weight were investigated in aqueous solution. Conformation and aggregation phenomena were elucidated by means of circular dichroism, viscometry, rheology, and nuclear magnetic resonance, mainly by 1H pulsed field gradient (PFG) NMR, which allows the determination of the diffusion coefficient of the species under investigation. The functionalization of hyaluronan with the steroid induces a reduction of the molecular volume, as a consequence of intramolecular hydrophobic interactions. For concentrated samples we have observed the coexistence of unimolecular collapsed chains and of aggregates, the latter disappearing upon dilution. The methylprednisolone ester of lower molecular weight hyaluronan has a larger molecular volume than its higher molecular weight analogue, even though still smaller than the underivatized polymer. This effect can be explained with the reduced flexibility of the polymer backbone probably impairing intramolecular interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1648-1653
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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