Random and block copolymers of bioreducible poly(amido amine)s with high- and low-basicity amino groups: study of DNA condensation and buffer capacity on gene transfection

C. Lin, Zhiyuan Zhong, Martin C. Lok, Xulin Jiang, Wim E. Hennink, Jan Feijen, Johannes F.J. Engbersen

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Poly(amido amine) (SS-PAA) random and block copolymers having bioreducible disulfide bonds in the main chain and amino groups with distinctly different basicity in the side chain were designed and synthesized by Michael addition polymerization between N, N′-cystaminebisacrylamide (CBA) and two amine monomers, i.e., histamine (HIS) and 3-(dimethylamino)-1-propylamine (DMPA). Copolymers containing variable HIS/DMPA ratios show higher ability to bind DNA than p(CBA-HIS) homopolymer and condense DNA into the polyplexes with particle sizes (< 150 nm) that are smaller than polyplexes of p(CBA-HIS) (not, vert, similar 220 nm). The buffer capacities of the copolymers increase with increasing HIS/DMPA ratio. These copolymers are able to transfect COS-7 cells in vitro with efficiencies that increase with increasing HIS/DMPA ratio. The random and block copolymers at a HIS/DMPA ratio of 70/30 combines optimal DNA condensation capability and buffer capacity, thereby inducing higher transfection efficiency in the absence and presence of serum as compared to p(CBA-HIS) homopolymer. Moreover, random and block copolymers show a similar transfection capacity, but both have higher capacity than the physical mixtures of p(CBA-HIS) and p(CBA-DMPA) homopolymers. XTT assay reveals that the polyplexes of the SS-PAA copolymers have essentially low cytotoxicity when the highest transfection activity is observed.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)67-75
JournalJournal of controlled release
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • METIS-245294
  • IR-70190

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