Prospects of anionic nanolipoplexes in nanotherapy: transmission electron microscopy and light scattering studies

Mohammad Reza Mozafari, Celia J Reed, Christopher Rostron

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Currently nanosystems composed of polynucleotides and lipid vesicles (nanolipoplexes) are considered to be promising tools for gene therapeutics. Successful in vivo application of these vectors depends on their physicochemical, technological and biological characteristics including morphology, size distribution, molecular interactions and stability. Anionic nanoliposomes (DPPC:DCP:CHOL) were prepared by two different techniques, namely the conventional thin-film hydration method followed by extrusion, and the heating method (HM), in which no volatile solvent or detergent is used. A non-viral and non-cationic gene transfer vector was constructed by incorporating plasmid DNA (pcDNA3.1/His B/lacZ) to the HM-nanoliposomes by the electrostatic mediation of Ca(2+) ions. Transfection efficiency of the nanolipoplexes was evaluated using a human bronchial epithelial cell line (16HBE14o-) in the presence of serum. Particle characterisation, stability of the formulations and lipid-DNA interaction studies were performed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and light scattering. TEM pictures of nanolipoplexes showed presence of two to four closely packed vesicles with signs of fusion. Efficient delivery of plasmid DNA and subsequent beta-galactosidase expression was achieved using the anionic nanolipoplexes. Transfection efficiency increased with lipid:DNA ratio up to 7:1 (w/w), where transfection efficiency was 12-fold higher than in untreated cells. Further increase in lipid ratio decreased transfection. These nanolipoplexes appear to be safe, stable and efficient in the protection and delivery of DNA to different cells and tissues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787 - 795
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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