The bio and chemical physics of protein–polymer conjugates are related to parameters that characterize each component. With this work, it is intended to feature the dynamical properties of the protein–polymer conjugate myoglobin (Mb)–poly(ethyl ethylene phosphate), in the ps and ns time scales, in order to understand the respective roles of the protein and of the polymer size in the dynamics of the conjugate. Elastic and quasi-elastic neutron scattering is performed on completely hydrogenated samples with variable number of polymer chains covalently attached to the protein. The role of the polymer length in the protein solvation and internal dynamics is investigated using two conjugates formed by polymers of different molecular weight. It is confirmed that the flexibility of the complex increases with the number of grafted polymer chains and that a sharp dynamical transition appears when either grafting density or polymer molecular weight are high. It is shown that protein size is crucial for the polymer structural organization and interaction on the protein surface and it is established that the glass properties of the polymer change upon conjugation. The results give a better insight of the equivalence of the polymer coating and the role of water on the surface of proteins.
- dynamical transition
- hydration water
- neutron scattering
- properties of protein–polymer conjugates
- protein dynamics