Heparin-immobilized microspheres for the capture of cytokines
by Duo, J.; Stenken, J. A.
The preparation and characterization of heparin-immobilized microspheres which were used to bind acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1/CCL2), and regulation upon activation normal T cell express sequence (RANTES/CCL5) is described. These beads were used as trapping agents in microdialysis sampling experiments in a separate study. Both free heparin and a synthesized heparin-albumin conjugate were immobilized onto microspheres and compared for their effectiveness. The heparin-albumin conjugate microspheres exhibited significant nonspecific adsorption which appeared to be due to the albumin content. The prepared heparin-immobilized microspheres were stable for 3 months at 4 degrees C. A bead-based flow cytometric assay was developed to study the binding capacity and specificity of the heparin-immobilized microspheres to cytokines. These heparin-immobilized microspheres exhibited broad dynamic ranges for binding to the four cytokines (aFGF, 1.0-1,000 ng/mL; VEGF, 0.5-1,000 ng/mL; CCL2, 1.95-1,000 ng/mL; CCL5, 1.95-500 ng/mL). Fast binding kinetics of the cytokines to the heparin-immobilized beads suggests that these beads may be useful as affinity agents in microfluidic flow systems.