The use of amphiphilic molecules such as poly(ethylene glycol)-conjugated phospholipid (PEG-lipid) enables incorporation into liposome surfaces by exogenous addition as a result of the self-assembly with lipids. This technique can be applicable for manipulation of both liposomes and cells. In this study, we aimed to characterize Tat peptide (YGRKKRRQRRR)-conjugated PEG-lipids when used to exogenously surface modify liposomes (size: ca. 100 nm). We earlier reported that cells, which were surface modified with Tat peptides conjugated to PEG-lipids could attach spontaneously to material surfaces without any chemical modification. Here, we synthesized different types of Tat-PEG-lipids by combining PEG of different molecular weights (5 and 40 kDa) with different lipids with three acyl chains (myristoyl, palmitoyl, and stearoyl, respectively) and then studied the spontaneous adsorption of modified liposomes onto a substrate surface induced by the different Tat-PEG-lipids. The amount of adsorbed liposomes strongly depended on the number of incorporated Tat-PEG-lipid moieties: a decrease in both the PEG and the acyl chain lengths led to adsorption of higher amounts of liposomes. Furthermore, when a collagenase-cleavable amino acid sequence was inserted between the Tat sequence and the PEG segment, adsorbed liposomes could be harvested from the substrate by collagenase treatment with no difference in desorption efficiency between the different Tat-PEG-lipids. Thus, Tat-PEG-lipid can be a suitable tool for the manipulation of liposomes and cells.
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