PEG & PEGylation
Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is a synthetic polymer that has a wide range of applications in various industries. In daily life, PEG is used as a lubricant and a surfactant, and is found in many household products such as cleaning agents, detergents, and soaps.
In the food industry, PEG is used as a food additive, mainly as a thickener, emulsifier, and stabilizer. It can be found in a variety of food products, including baked goods, sauces, and drinks.
In the cosmetic industry, PEG is used as an emulsifier and a moisturizer. It can be found in many personal care products such as lotions, creams, shampoos, and cosmetics.
In the medical device industry, PEG is used as a coating for medical devices to improve biocompatibility and reduce friction. It is also used as a lubricant for catheters and other medical devices.
PEG is also used in the development of PEGylated drugs, which are drugs that have been modified by attaching PEG molecules to peptides/proteins, oligonucleotides and small molecule drugs. This modification can increase the drug’s half-life, reduce its immunogenicity, and improve its pharmacokinetic profile.
In addition, mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, work by delivering a small piece of genetic material that instructs cells to produce a specific protein. To deliver this mRNA to cells in the body, it must be encapsulated within a nanoparticle. PEG can be used to coat the surface of these nanoparticles, which helps to protect the mRNA from degradation in the body and increases its circulation time in the bloodstream.