Fast degrading polyesters as siRNA nano-carriers for pulmonary gene therapy

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A potential siRNA carrier for pulmonary gene delivery was assessed by encapsulating siRNA into biodegradable polyester nanoparticles consisting of tertiary-amine-modified polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) backbones grafted to poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA). The resulting siRNA nanoparticles were prepared using a solvent displacement method that offers the advantage of forming small nanoparticles without using shear forces. The nanoparticles were characterized with regard to particle size, zeta-potential, and degradation at pH 7.4 using dynamic and static light scattering. SiRNA release studies were performed and correlated to the nanoparticle degradation. In vitro knockdown of firefly luciferase reporter gene was used to assess the potential of the nanoparticles as siRNA carriers in a human lung epithelial cell line, H1299 luc.The amine-modified-PVA–PLGA/siRNA nanoparticles form 150–200 nm particles with zeta-potentials of +15–+20 mV in phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Break down of the nanoparticles was seen within 4 h in PBS with sustained release of siRNA. These nanoparticles have achieved 80–90% knockdown of a luciferase reporter gene with only 5 pmol anti-luc siRNA, even after nebulization. Hence we conclude that amine-modified-PVA–PLGA/siRNA nanoparticles could be a promising siRNA carrier for pulmonary gene delivery due to their fast degradation and potent gene knockdown profile.

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