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Title: Supramolecular surface functionalization of iron oxide nanoparticles with α-cyclodextrin-based cationic star polymer for magnetically-enhanced gene delivery
Authors: Li, Hanyi
Peng, Erwin 
Zhao, Feng
Li, Jun 
Xue, Junmin 
Keywords: Cyclodextrin
Gene transfection
Iron oxide
Magnetic nanoparticles
Supramolecular complexation
Issue Date: 6-Nov-2021
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Li, Hanyi, Peng, Erwin, Zhao, Feng, Li, Jun, Xue, Junmin (2021-11-06). Supramolecular surface functionalization of iron oxide nanoparticles with α-cyclodextrin-based cationic star polymer for magnetically-enhanced gene delivery. Pharmaceutics 13 (11) : 1884. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Supramolecular polymers formed through host–guest complexation have inspired many interesting developments of functional materials for biological and biomedical applications. Here, we report a novel design of a non-viral gene delivery system composed of a cationic star polymer forming supramolecular complexes with the surface oleyl groups of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs), for magnetically enhanced delivery of DNA into mammalian cells. The cationic star polymer was synthesized by grafting multiple oligoethylenimine (OEI) chains onto an α-cyclodextrin (α-CD) core. The SPIONs were synthesized from iron(III) acetylacetonate and stabilized by hydrophobic oleic acid and oleylamine in hexane, which were characterized in terms of their size, structure, morphology, and magnetic properties. The synthesized magnetic particles were found to be superparamagnetic, making them a suitable ferrofluid for biological applications. In order to change the hydrophobic surface of the SPIONs to a hydrophilic surface with functionalities for plasmid DNA (pDNA) binding and gene delivery, a non-traditional but simple supramolecular surface modification process was used. The α-CD-OEI cationic star polymer was dissolved in water and then mixed with the SPIONs stabilized in hexane. The SPIONs were “pulled” into the water phase through the formation of supramolecular host–guest inclusion complexes between the α-CD unit and the oleyl surface of the SPIONs, while the surface of the SPIONs was changed to OEI cationic polymers. The α-CD-OEI-SPION complex could effectively bind and condense pDNA to form α-CD-OEI-SPION/pDNA polyplex nanoparticles at the size of ca. 200 nm suitable for delivery of genes into cells through endocytosis. The cytotoxicity of the α-CD-OEI-SPION complex was also found to be lower than high-molecular-weight polyethylenimine, which was widely studied previously as a standard non-viral gene vector. When gene transfection was carried out in the presence of an external magnetic field, the α-CD-OEI-SPION/pDNA polyplex nanoparticles greatly increased the gene transfection efficiency by nearly tenfold. Therefore, the study has demonstrated a facile two-in-one method to make the SPIONs water-soluble as well as functionalized for enhanced magnetofection. © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Source Title: Pharmaceutics
ISSN: 1999-4923
DOI: 10.3390/pharmaceutics13111884
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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