|407. Synatschke, C.V.; Schallon, A.; Jérôme, V.; Freitag, R.; Müller, A.H.E.: Influence of Polymer Architecture and Molecular Weight of Poly(2-(Dimethylamino)ethyl Methacrylate) Polycations on Transfection Efficiency and Cell Viability in Gene Delivery, Biomacromolecules 12, 4247 (2011) -- DOI: 10.1021/bm201111d|
Nonviral gene delivery with the help of polycations has raised considerable interest in the scientific community over the last decades. Herein, we present a systematic study on the influence of the molecular weight and architecture of poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) on the transfection efficiency and the cytotoxicity in CHO-K1 cells. A library of well defined homopolymers with a linear and star-shaped topology (3- and 5-arm stars) was synthesized via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). The molecular weights of the polycations ranged from 16 to 158 kDa. We found that the cytotoxicity at a given molecular weight decreased with increasing number of arms. For a successful transfection a minimum molecular weight was necessary, since the polymers with a number-average molecular weight, Mn, below 20 kDa showed negligible transfection efficiency at any of the tested polyelectrolyte complex compositions. From the combined analysis of cytotoxicity and transfection data, we propose that polymers with a branched architecture and an intermediate molecular weight are the most promising candidates for efficient gene delivery, since they combine low cytotoxicity with acceptable transfection results.