D. Russo, A. De Angelis, A. Paciaroni, B. Frick, N. de Sousa, F. R. Wurm, and J. Teixeira
We investigate the relaxation dynamics of protein−polymer conjugates by neutron scattering spectroscopy to understand to which extent the coating of a protein by a polymer can replace water in promoting thermal structural fluctuations. For this purpose, we compare the dynamics of protein−polymer mixtures to that of conjugates with a variable number of polymers covalently attached to the protein. Results show that the flexibility of the protein is larger in protein−polymer mixtures than in native protein or in conjugates, even in the dry state. Upon hydration, both the native protein and the conjugate show equivalent dynamics, suggesting that the polymer grafted on the protein surface adsorbs all water molecules.