|518. Stahlschmidt, U.; Jérôme, V.; Majewski, A.P.; Müller, A.H.E.; Freitag, R.: Systematic study of a library of PDMAEMA-based, superparamagnetic nanostars for the transfection of CHO K1 cells, Polymers 9, 156-175 (2017) -- DOI: 10.3390/polym9050156|
The introduction of the DNA into mammalian cells remains a challenge in gene delivery, particularly in vivo. Viral vectors are unmatched in their efficiency for gene delivery, but may trigger immune responses and cause severe side-reactions. Non-viral vectors are much less efficient. Recently, our group has suggested that a star-shaped structure improves and even transforms the gene delivery capability of synthetic polycations. In this contribution, this effect was systematically studied using a library of highly homogeneous, paramagnetic nano-star polycations with varied arm lengths and grafting densities. Gene delivery was conducted in CHO-K1 cells, using a plasmid encoding a green fluorescent reporter protein. Transfection efficiencies and cytotoxicities varied systematically with the nano-star architecture. The arm density was particularly important, with values of approximately 0.06 arms/nm2 yielding the best results. In addition, a certain fraction of the cells became magnetic during transfection. The gene delivery potential of a nano-star and its ability to render the cells magnetic did not have any correlations. End-capping the polycation arms with di(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (PDEGMA) significantly improved serum compatibility under transfection conditions; such nano-stars are potential candidates for future in vivo testing.