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Polyhydroxyethylaspartamide-spermine copolymers: Efficient vectors for gene delivery

  • Autori: Cavallaro, G.; Scire', S.; Licciardi, M.; Ogris, M.; Wagner, E.; Giammona, G.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2008
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: gene delivery, polyaspartamide; spermine; polycation; interpolyelectrolyte complexes
  • OA Link:


Aim of this paper was that to prepare biocompatible, polyaspartamide based copolymers containing spermine or spermine/hydrophobic side chains able to condense nucleic acids and to transfect mammalian cells. Copolymers were prepared starting from α,β-poly-(N-2-hydroxyethyl)-D,L-aspartamide (PHEA) and exploiting the reactive hydroxyl groups in the polymeric side chains by subsequent activation reactions to obtain PHEASpermine (PHEA-Spm) and PHEA-Spermine-Butyramide (PHEA-Spm-C4). Molecular, physico-chemical and biological characterization of copolymers and interpolyelectrolyte complexes with plasmid DNAwas performed. Experimental results evidenced that these copolymers are able to form complexes with plasmid DNA already at low polycation/DNAweight ratio ranging from 0.75/1 to 2/1. Interpolyelectrolyte complexes with decreased size were obtained when increasing the polycation/DNA weight ratio, until nanosized dimensions were reached. Copolymers aswell as complexeswere not haemolytic and non toxic in vitro. In vitro cell transfection with PHEA derivatives showed good biocompatibility and high transfection efficiency (luciferase) in cancer cells in comparison with commercially available, but toxic transfection agents.