Microfluidic Preparation of Polymer-Nucleic Acid Nanocomplexes Improves Nonviral Gene Transfer

C.L. Grigsby, Y.P. Ho, C. Lin, J.F.J. Engbersen, K.W. Leong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
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As the designs of polymer systems used to deliver nucleic acids continue to evolve, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the basic bulk manufacturing techniques of the past will be insufficient to produce polymer-nucleic acid nanocomplexes that possess the uniformity, stability, and potency required for their successful clinical translation and widespread commercialization. Traditional bulk-prepared products are often physicochemically heterogeneous and may vary significantly from one batch to the next. Here we show that preparation of bioreducible nanocomplexes with an emulsion-based droplet microfluidic system produces significantly improved nanoparticles that are up to fifty percent smaller, more uniform, and are less prone to aggregation. The intracellular integrity of nanocomplexes prepared with this microfluidic method is significantly prolonged, as detected using a high-throughput flow cytometric quantum dot Förster resonance energy transfer nanosensor system. These physical attributes conspire to consistently enhance the delivery of both plasmid DNA and messenger RNA payloads in stem cells, primary cells, and human cell lines. Innovation in processing is necessary to move the field toward the broader clinical implementation of safe and effective nonviral nucleic acid therapeutics, and preparation with droplet microfluidics represents a step forward in addressing the critical barrier of robust and reproducible nanocomplex production
Original languageEnglish
Article number3155
Number of pages7
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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