Analytical challenges of glycosaminoglycans at biological interfaces
Szekeres, G.P.; Pagel, K.; Heiner, Z; – 2021
The analysis of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) is a challenging task due to their high structural heterogeneity, which results in diverse GAG chains with similar chemical properties. Simultaneously, it is of high importance to understand their role and behavior in biological systems. It has been known for decades now that GAGs can interact with lipid molecules and thus contribute to the onset of atherosclerosis, but their interactions at and with biological interfaces, such as the cell membrane, are yet to be revealed. Here, analytical approaches that could yield important knowledge on the GAG-cell membrane interactions as well as the synthetic and analytical advances that make their study possible are discussed. Due to recent developments in laser technology, we particularly focus on nonlinear spectroscopic methods, especially vibrational sum-frequency generation spectroscopy, which has the potential to unravel the structural complexity of heterogeneous biological interfaces in contact with GAGs, in situ and in real time.