8-Arm PEG

The polymer 8-arm PEG, also called 8-arm polyethylene glycol, is made up of several PEG chains that are joined together at the center. PEG is hydrophilic because it has repeated ethylene oxide units in each arm of the polymer. The flexibility and functionality of a variety of applications, including medication delivery, surface modification, and biomaterials, can be improved by the branching structure. 8-arm PEG is frequently used in biomedical research and drug development due to its biocompatibility and ability to enhance the solubility and stability of drugs or biomolecules.

Structures of different PEG derivativesFig. 1. Structures of different PEG derivatives.

Example of 8-Arm PEG

8-Arm PEG Amine

The amine functional group on the 8-arm PEG amine allows covalent attachment of various molecules or surfaces, which can be achieved by reacting the amine group with a reactive group on the target molecule or surface. Conjugating 8-Arm PEG amines to antibodies, proteins and peptides increases their stability and solubility. Pegylation can prevent protein aggregation, increase protein half-life, and enhance protein solubility in aqueous solutions. This is especially useful for therapeutic proteins or antibodies that may be easily degraded or have poor solubility. In addition to proteins and antibodies, 8-Arm PEG Amine can also be conjugated to solid supports such as nanoparticles or surfaces. This allows the creation of PEGylated nanoparticles or coatings, improving their stability, biocompatibility and circulation time in the body. PEGylation of solid supports can also reduce non-specific binding and improve the overall performance of the system.

8-Arm PEG Maleimide

8-arm PEG maleimide is a PEG derivative containing eight arms or branches. It has a maleimide functional group at the end of each arm. Maleimides are reactive groups that can form covalent bonds with thiol groups, such as those found on cysteine residues in proteins or peptides. 8-arm PEG maleimide is commonly used in bioconjugation and drug delivery applications. It can be used to modify proteins or peptides by reacting with exposed cysteine residues to form stable thioether linkages. This allows the attachment of various molecules, such as fluorescent dyes, drugs, or targeting ligands, to proteins or peptides of interest. The multiple arms of the 8-arm PEG maleimide provide a higher degree of functionalization compared to linear PEG derivatives, thereby improving the payload capacity and stability of the resulting conjugates.


NHS is a reactive group that can react with primary amines to form stable amide bonds. When combined with PEG, it can create a versatile platform for conjugating various molecules such as proteins, peptides, drugs or imaging agents. The 8-arm structure of PEG NHS provides a high degree of versatility and flexibility for creating multifunctional conjugates. It allows the attachment of multiple molecules or functional groups to a single PEG backbone, enhancing the stability, solubility, and biocompatibility of the conjugate.

8-Arm PEG-Biotin

Each branched end of 8-arm PEG-Biotin contains a molecule of biotin, which has high affinity for avidin and streptavidin proteins. The multiple arms of 8-arm PEG-biotin provide more attachment sites for biotin, allowing a higher degree of biotinylation than linear PEG-biotin molecules. This increased biotin density can enhance the binding affinity and specificity of biotinylated molecules to avidin or streptavidin, thereby improving the performance of applications such as affinity chromatography, protein arrays, or biosensors.

Advantages of 8-Arm PEG

  • Increase solubility: PEG is a highly water-soluble polymer, and the multi-arm structure of 8-arm PEG further enhances its solubility in water. 8-arm PEG consists of multiple linear PEG chains connected at a central core. This multi-armed structure increases the number of hydroxyl groups that can form hydrogen bonds with water molecules, thereby increasing the overall solubility of the polymer.
  • Increased biocompatibility: 8-arm PEG is a flexible polymer that is appropriate for a variety of biomedical applications due to its biocompatibility and many arms. Its widespread use in biomedicine is a result of its capacity to improve tissue engineering, medication delivery, and medicinal coatings. For instance, 8-arm PEG can be utilized in medical coatings to alter the surface characteristics of medical devices like implants and catheters. When these devices come into touch with the body, there is a lower chance of infection and irritation thanks to the 8-arm PEG's biocompatibility. The PEG molecule's many arms can also provide coatings that are more stable and long-lasting, extending the life and effectiveness of medical equipment.
  • Versatile functionalization: The multiple arms of the 8-arm PEG offer a variety of functionalization sites, making it useful for tissue engineering, imaging, bioanalytical studies, and drug delivery. 8-arm PEG is a highly useful instrument for biomedical research and the creation of cutting-edge treatment approaches due to its adaptability and functionalization capacities. Imaging agents can be attached to functionalization sites for 8-arm PEG, for instance. The distribution and buildup of PEG-drug conjugates in vivo may be monitored by conjugating imaging agents to PEG molecules, offering important details on their pharmacokinetics and biodistribution.
  • Increased half-life: By adding PEG to a molecule, it can become larger and more resistant to detection and removal by the immune system, extending its circulation in the body. A longer half-life would enable less frequent dosage, improving patient compliance and possibly improving treatment results. In some circumstances, multi-armed PEGs can be used to further optimize PEGylation (e.g. 8-arm PEGs). The many branches or arms of these PEG molecules can provide more steric hindrance and increase the protective effects of PEGylation. Since there are more PEG chains around the molecule, a thicker PEG layer is formed, increasing the molecule's resistance to the body's natural clearing and degrading processes.

One of the top suppliers of numerous chemical goods, such as 8-arm PEG, is BOC Sciences. For various client needs, our 8-arm PEGs come in a variety of molecular weights and functional groups. Moreover, BOC Sciences has a group of knowledgeable chemists that can custom-synthesize 8-Arm PEG in accordance with customers' particular needs. The molecular weight, functional groups, and other properties can be adjusted to satisfy individual requirements. Please get in touch with us if you're interested in learning more about our PEGylation services.

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