Dendriplexes and their characterisation

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The interaction of DNA with partial dendrimers (dendritic polylysine containing seven lysines and eight terminal amino groups with or without a lipidic core) was studied. Compact complexes were formed which we term “dendriplexes”. Agarose gel electrophoresis and exclusion of ethidium bromide confirmed the interaction. All the dendrons formed compact complexes above a 2:1 (+/−) charge ratio in water and HBSS. Photon correlation spectroscopy, electron microscopy and zeta potential measurements were used to determine, respectively, the particle size, shape and surface charge of the dendriplexes. The z-average diameter of the dendriplexes were found to be 60–70 nm irrespective of the dendron used and the zeta potential varied from 10 to 35 mV at a 3:1 (+/−) charge ratio depending on the dendron. The protection of the DNA component of these dendriplexes from nuclease degradation was confirmed by DNase protection assays.

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