In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (40)

Articles by Kensuke Osada in JoVE

Other articles by Kensuke Osada on PubMed

A Synthetic Block Copolymer Regulates S1 Nuclease Fragmentation of Supercoiled Plasmid DNA

Angewandte Chemie (International Ed. in English). Jun, 2005  |  Pubmed ID: 15880738

Semipermeable Polymer Vesicle (PICsome) Self-assembled in Aqueous Medium from a Pair of Oppositely Charged Block Copolymers: Physiologically Stable Micro-/nanocontainers of Water-soluble Macromolecules

Journal of the American Chemical Society. May, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16669639

A new entity of polymer vesicle with a polyion complex (PIC) membrane, a PICsome, was prepared by simple mixing of a pair of oppositely charged block copolymers, composed of biocompatible PEG and poly(amino acid)s, in an aqueous medium. Flow particle image analysis revealed the formation of spherical particles with a size range up to 10 mum. Observation by dark-field and confocal laser scanning microscopes clearly confirmed that the PICsome has a hollow structure with an inner-water phase, in which FITC-dextran emitting green fluorescence was successfully encapsulated simply by the simultaneous mixing with the block copolymers. Confocal laser scanning microscopic observation and spectral analysis revealed the smooth penetration of a low molecular weight fluorescent dye (TRITC; MW = 443.5) emitting red fluorescence into the FITC-dextran encapsulated PICsome to give the PICsome image with a merged color of yellows, indicating the semipermeable nature of the PICsome membrane. The PICsomes showed appreciable physiological stability even in the presence of serum proteins, suggesting their feasibility in biomedical fields such as carriers of therapeutic compounds and compartments for diagnostic enzymes.

Encapsulation of Myoglobin in PEGylated Polyion Complex Vesicles Made from a Pair of Oppositely Charged Block Ionomers: a Physiologically Available Oxygen Carrier

Angewandte Chemie (International Ed. in English). 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17628476

Charge-conversional Polyionic Complex Micelles-efficient Nanocarriers for Protein Delivery into Cytoplasm

Angewandte Chemie (International Ed. in English). 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19294716

Special delivery! Polyionic complex (PIC) micelles that contain the charge-conversional moieties citaconic amide or cis-aconitic amide were developed for cytoplasmic protein delivery. The increase of the charge density on the protein cargo helped the stability of the PIC micelles without cross-linking, and the charge-conversion in endosomes induced the dissociation of the PIC micelles to result in efficient endosomal release (see picture).

Polymeric Micelles from Poly(ethylene Glycol)-poly(amino Acid) Block Copolymer for Drug and Gene Delivery

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface. Jun, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19364722

Dramatic advances in biological research have revealed the mechanisms underlying many diseases at the molecular level. However, conventional techniques may be inadequate for direct application of this new knowledge to medical treatments. Nanobiotechnology, which integrates biology with the rapidly growing field of nanotechnology, has great potential to overcome many technical problems and lead to the development of effective therapies. The use of nanobiotechnology in drug delivery systems (DDS) is attractive for advanced treatment of conditions such as cancer and genetic diseases. In this review paper for a special issue on biomaterial research in Japan, we discuss the development of DDS based on polymeric micelles mainly in our group for anti-cancer drug and gene delivery, and also address our challenges associated with developing polymeric micelles as super-functionalized nanodevices with intelligent performance.

Polyplex Nanomicelle Promotes Hydrodynamic Gene Introduction to Skeletal Muscle

Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society. Apr, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20043959

Skeletal muscle is an interesting target for gene therapy. To achieve effective gene introduction in skeletal muscle, a hydrodynamic approach by intravenous injection of plasmid DNA (pDNA) with transient isolation of the limb has attracted attention. In this study, we demonstrated that polyplex nanomicelle, composed of poly(ethyleneglycol) (PEG)-block-polycation and pDNA, showed excellent capacity of gene introduction to skeletal muscle. The evaluation of luciferase expression in the muscle revealed that the nanomicelle provided higher and sustained profiles of transgene expression compared with naked pDNA. Real-time in vivo imaging using a video-rate confocal imaging system suggested that the nanomicelle showed tolerability in the intracellular environment, resulting in the slow but sustained transgene expression. The nanomicelle induced less TNFalpha induction in the muscle than naked pDNA, indicating the safety of nanomicelle-based gene delivery into the skeletal muscle. Moreover, the nanomicelle showed significant tumor growth suppression for almost a month by introducing a pDNA expressing a soluble form of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-1 (sFlt-1) to skeletal muscle to obtain anti-angiogenic effect on tumor growth. This feature of sustained effect gives an important advantage of gene therapy, especially on the points of cost effectiveness and high compliance. These results suggest that the hydrodynamic gene introduction to skeletal muscle using polyplex nanomicelle system possesses the potential for effective gene therapy.

Quantized Folding of Plasmid DNA Condensed with Block Catiomer into Characteristic Rod Structures Promoting Transgene Efficacy

Journal of the American Chemical Society. Sep, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20712309

Highly regulated folding of plasmid DNA (pDNA) through polyion complexation with the synthetic block catiomer, poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(L-lysine) (PEG-PLys), was found to occur in such a way that rod structures are formed with a quantized length of 1/2(n + 1) of the original pDNA length folding by n times. The folding process of pDNA was elucidated with regard to rigidity of the double-stranded DNA structure and topological restriction of the supercoiled closed-circular form, and a mechanism based on Euler's buckling theory was proposed. Folded pDNA exhibited higher gene expression efficiency compared to naked pDNA in a cell-free transcription/translation assay system, indicating that the packaging of pDNA into a polyion complex core surrounded by a PEG palisade is a promising strategy for constructing nonviral gene carrier systems. Extension of this finding may provide a reasonable model to further understand the packaging mechanism of supercoiled DNA structures in nature.

Enhanced in Vivo Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Tumors by PEGylated Iron-Oxide-Gold Core-Shell Nanoparticles with Prolonged Blood Circulation Properties

Macromolecular Rapid Communications. Sep, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 21567561

High-density poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-coated iron-oxide-gold core-shell nanoparticles (AuIONs) were developed as T(2) -weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents for cancer imaging. The PEG-coated iron-oxide-gold core-shell nanoparticles (PEG-AuIONs) were approximately 25 nm in diameter with a narrow distribution. Biodistribution experiments in mice bearing a subcutaneous colon cancer model prepared with C26 murine colon adenocarcinoma cells showed high accumulation of the PEG-AuIONs within the tumor mass and low nonspecific accumulation in the liver and spleen, resulting in high specificity to solid tumors. T(2) -weighted MR images following intravenous injection of PEG-AuIONs showed selective negative enhancement of tumor tissue in an orthotopic pancreatic cancer model prepared with MiaPaCa-2 human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells. These results indicate that PEG-AuIONs are a promising MRI contrast agent for diagnosis of malignant tumors, including pancreatic cancer.

Polyplex Micelles Prepared from ω-cholesteryl PEG-polycation Block Copolymers for Systemic Gene Delivery

Biomaterials. Jan, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 20932567

Polyplex micelles formed with plasmid DNA (pDNA) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-block-poly{N-[N-(2-aminoethyl)-2-aminoethyl]aspartamide} [PAsp(DET)] exhibit effective endosomal escaping properties based on di-protonation of diamine side chains with decreasing pH, which improves their transfection efficiency and thus are promising candidates for local in vivo gene transfer. Here, PEG-PAsp(DET) polyplex micelles were further improved as in vivo systemic vectors by introduction of cholesterol (Chole) into the ω-terminus of PEG-PAsp(DET) to obtain PEG-PAsp(DET)-Chole. Introduction of the cholesterol resulted in enhanced association of block copolymers with pDNA, which led to increased stability in proteinous medium and also in the blood stream after systemic injection compared to PEG-PAsp(DET) micelles. The synergistic effect between enhanced polymer association with pDNA and increased micelle stability of PEG-PAsp(DET)-Chole polyplex micelles led to high in vitro gene transfer even at relatively low concentrations, due to efficient cellular uptake and effective endosomal escape of block copolymers and pDNA. Finally, PEG-PAsp(DET)-Chole micelles achieved significant suppression of tumor growth following intravenous injection into mice bearing a subcutaneous pancreatic tumor using therapeutic pDNA encoding an anti-angiogenic protein. These results suggest that PEG-PAsp(DET)-Chole micelles can be effective systemic gene vectors for treatment of solid tumors.

Enhanced Endosomal Escape of SiRNA-incorporating Hybrid Nanoparticles from Calcium Phosphate and PEG-block Charge-conversional Polymer for Efficient Gene Knockdown with Negligible Cytotoxicity

Biomaterials. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21272932

Development of safe and efficient short interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery system for RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapeutics is a current critical challenge in drug delivery field. The major barriers in siRNA delivery into the target cytoplasm are the fragility of siRNA in the body, the inefficient cellular uptake, and the acidic endosomal entrapment. To overcome these barriers, this study is presenting a hybrid nanocarrier system composed of calcium phosphate comprising the block copolymer of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and charge-conversional polymer (CCP) as a siRNA vehicle. In these nanoparticles, the calcium phosphate forms a stable core to incorporate polyanions, siRNA and PEG-CCP. The synthesized PEG-CCP is a non-toxic endosomal escaping unit, which induces endosomal membrane destabilization by the produced polycation through degradation of the flanking cis-aconitylamide of CCP in acidic endosomes. The nanoparticles prepared by mixing of each component was confirmed to possess excellent siRNA-loading efficiency (∼80% of dose), and to present relatively homogenous spherical shape with small size. With negligible cytotoxicity, the nanoparticles efficiently induced vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA knockdown (∼80%) in pancreatic cancer cells (PanC-1). Confocal laser scanning microscopic observation revealed rapid endosomal escape of siRNA with the nanoparticles for the excellent mRNA knockdown. The results obtained demonstrate our hybrid nanoparticle as a promising candidate to develop siRNA therapy.

Combination of Chondroitin Sulfate and Polyplex Micelles from Poly(ethylene Glycol)-poly{N'-[N-(2-aminoethyl)-2-aminoethyl]aspartamide} Block Copolymer for Prolonged in Vivo Gene Transfection with Reduced Toxicity

Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21571018

Nonviral polycation-based gene carriers (polyplexes) have attracted attention as safe and efficient gene delivery systems. Polyplex micelles comprised of poly(ethyleneglycol)-block-poly{N'-[N-(2-aminoethyl)-2-aminoethyl]aspartamide} (PEG-PAsp(DET)) and plasmid DNA (pDNA) have shown high transfection efficiency with low toxicity due to the pH-sensitive protonation behavior of PAsp(DET), which enhances endosomal escape, and their self-catalytic degradability under physiological conditions, which reduces cumulative toxicity during transfection. In this study, we improved the safety and transfection efficiency of this polyplex micelle system by adding an anionic polycarbohydrate, chondroitin sulfate (CS). A quantitative assay for cell membrane integrity using image analysis software showed that the addition of CS markedly reduced membrane damage caused by free polycations in the micelle solution. It also reduced tissue damage and subsequent inflammatory responses in the skeletal muscle and lungs of mice following in vivo gene delivery with the polyplex micelles. Subsequently, this led to prolonged transgene expression in the target organs. This combination of polyplex micelles and CS holds great promise for safe and efficient gene introduction in clinical settings.

Effect of Polymer Structure on Micelles Formed Between SiRNA and Cationic Block Copolymer Comprising Thiols and Amidines

Biomacromolecules. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21863796

Small interfering RNA (siRNA) has great therapeutic potential for the suppression of proteins associated with disease, but delivery methods are needed for improved efficacy. Here, we investigated the properties of micellar siRNA delivery vehicles prepared with poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(l-lysine) (PEG-b-PLL) comprising lysine amines modified to contain amidine and thiol functionality. Lysine modification was achieved using 2-iminothiolane (2-IT) [yielding PEG-b-PLL(N2IM-IM)] or dimethyl 3,3'-dithiobispropionimidate (DTBP) [yielding PEG-b-PLL(MPA)], with modifications aimed to impart disulfide cross-linking ability without compromising cationic charge. These two lysine modification reagents resulted in vastly different chemistry contained in the reacted block copolymer, which affected micelle formation behavior and stability along with in vitro and in vivo performance. Amidines formed with 2-IT were unstable and rearranged into a noncharged ring structure lacking free thiol functionality, whereas amidines generated with DTBP were stable. Micelles formed with siRNA and PEG-b-PLL(N2IM-IM) at higher molar ratios of polymer/siRNA, while PEG-b-PLL(MPA) produced micelles only near stoichiometric molar ratios. In vitro gene silencing was highest for PEG-b-PLL(MPA)/siRNA micelles, which were also more sensitive to disruption under disulfide-reducing conditions. Blood circulation was most improved for PEG-b-PLL(N2IM-IM)/siRNA micelles, with a circulation half-life 3× longer than naked siRNA. Both micelle formulations are promising for siRNA delivery applications in vitro and in vivo.

Enhanced Gene Expression Promoted by the Quantized Folding of PDNA Within Polyplex Micelles

Biomaterials. Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 21993237

Selective packaging of plasmid DNA (pDNA) into folded rod or collapsed sphere structures in polyplex micelles was demonstrated by modulating the PLys segment length of poly(ethylene glycol)-block- poly(L-lysine) (PEG-PLys) block catiomers used for micelle formation. The two basic packaging structures correlated well to the integrity of double-stranded DNA contained within the micelles. Rod structures formed by the quantized folding mechanism, which results in dissociation of double-stranded DNA only at each fold. Collapsed sphere structures formed by substantial random disruption of the double-stranded DNA structure. Analysis of gene expression in a cell-free transcription/translation system, cultured cells and also skeletal muscle of mice showed that micelles containing pDNA packaged by quantized folding exhibited higher gene expression than naked pDNA and micelles containing collapsed pDNA. These results indicate that controlled packaging of pDNA into an appropriate structure is critical for achieving effective gene expression. Improved gene transfection and expression resulting from the quantized folding of pDNA within polyplex micelles is promising for application in therapeutic gene delivery systems.

PEGylated Polyplex with Optimized PEG Shielding Enhances Gene Introduction in Lungs by Minimizing Inflammatory Responses

Molecular Therapy : the Journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22334020

Safety is a critical issue in clinical applications of nonviral gene delivery systems. Safe and effective gene introduction into the lungs was previously achieved using polyplexes from poly(ethyleneglycol) (PEG)-block-polycation [PEG-block-PAsp(DET)] and plasmid DNA (pDNA). Although PEGylated polyplexes appeared to be safe, an excess ratio of polycation to pDNA was needed to obtain sufficient transgene expression, which may cause toxicities shortly after gene introduction. In the present study, we investigated the combined use of two polymers, PEG-block-PAsp(DET) (B) and homo PAsp(DET) (H) across a range of mixing ratios to construct polyplexes. Although transgene expressions following in vitro transfections increased in parallel with increased proportions of H, polyplexes with B/H = 50/50 formulation produced the highest expression level following in vivo intratracheal administration. Higher proportions of H elicited high levels of cytokine induction with significant inflammation as assessed by histopathological examinations. Based on the aggregation behavior of polyplexes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALFs), we suggested that rapid aggregation of polyplexes in the lung induced acute inflammatory responses, resulting in reduced transgene expression. B/H formulation of polyplex can help to improve gene therapy for the respiratory system because it achieves both effective PEG shielding of polyplexes and functioning of PAsp(DET) polycations to enhance endosomal escape.

Homo-catiomer Integration into PEGylated Polyplex Micelle from Block-catiomer for Systemic Anti-angiogenic Gene Therapy for Fibrotic Pancreatic Tumors

Biomaterials. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22444644

Homo-poly{N'-[N-(2-aminoethyl)-2-aminoehtyl]aspartamide} [PAsp(DET), H] was attempted to integrate into poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG)-b-PAsp(DET)] (B) formulated polyplex micelle with the aim of enhancing cell transfection efficiency for PEGylated polyplex micelle via H integration. In vitro evaluations verified H integration of potent stimulation in enhancing cell-transfecting activity of PEGylated polyplex micelles via promoted cellular uptake and facilitated endosome escape. In vivo anti-angiogenic tumor suppression evaluations validated the feasibility of H integration in promoting gene transfection to the affected cells via systemic administration, where loaded anti-angiogenic gene remarkably expressed in the tumor site, thereby imparting significant inhibitory effect on the growth of vascular endothelial cells, ultimately leading to potent tumor growth suppression. These results demonstrated potency of H integration for enhanced transfection activity and potential usage in systemic applications, which could have important implications on the strategic use of H integration in the non-viral gene carrier design.

Effective Transgene Expression Without Toxicity by Intraperitoneal Administration of PEG-detachable Polyplex Micelles in Mice with Peritoneal Dissemination

Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22484197

Block copolymer of poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly{N-[N-(2-aminoethyl)-2-aminoethyl]aspartamide} (PEG-P[Asp(DET)]) has been originally introduced as a promising gene carrier by forming a nanomicelle with plasmid DNA. In this study, the polyplex micelle of PEG-SS-P[Asp(DET)], which disulfide linkage (SS) between PEG and cationic polymer can detach the surrounding PEG chains upon intracellular reduction, was firstly evaluated with respect to in vivo transduction efficiency and toxicity in comparison to that of PEG-P[Asp(DET)] in peritoneally disseminated cancer model. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of PEG-SS-P[Asp(DET)] polyplex micelles showed a higher (P<0.05) transgene expression compared with PEG-P[Asp(DET)] in tumors. In contrast, the delivered distribution of the micelles was not different between the two polyplex micelles. PEG-SS-P[Asp(DET)] micelle encapsulating human tumor necrosis factor α (hTNF-α) gene exhibits a higher antitumor efficacy against disseminated cancer compared with PEG-P[Asp(DET)] or saline control. No hepatic and renal toxicities were observed by the administration of polyplex micelles. In conclusion, PEG-detachable polyplex micelles may represent an advantage in gene transduction in vivo over PEG-undetachable polyplex micelles after i.p. administration for peritoneal dissemination of cancer.

Targeted Polymeric Micelles for SiRNA Treatment of Experimental Cancer by Intravenous Injection

ACS Nano. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22575090

Small interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) cancer therapies administered by intravenous injection require a delivery system for transport from the bloodstream into the cytoplasm of diseased cells to perform the function of gene silencing. Here we describe nanosized polymeric micelles that deliver siRNA to solid tumors and elicit a therapeutic effect. Stable multifunctional micelle structures on the order of 45 nm in size formed by spontaneous self-assembly of block copolymers with siRNA. Block copolymers used for micelle formation were designed and synthesized to contain three main features: a siRNA binding segment containing thiols, a hydrophilic nonbinding segment, and a cell-surface binding peptide. Specifically, poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(L-lysine) (PEG-b-PLL) comprising lysine amines modified with 2-iminothiolane (2IT) and the cyclo-Arg-Gly-Asp (cRGD) peptide on the PEG terminus was used. Modification of PEG-b-PLL with 2IT led to improved control of micelle formation and also increased stability in the blood compartment, while installation of the cRGD peptide improved biological activity. Incorporation of siRNA into stable micelle structures containing the cRGD peptide resulted in increased gene silencing ability, improved cell uptake, and broader subcellular distribution in vitro and also improved accumulation in both the tumor mass and tumor-associated blood vessels following intravenous injection into mice. Furthermore, stable and targeted micelles inhibited the growth of subcutaneous HeLa tumor models and demonstrated gene silencing in the tumor mass following treatment with antiangiogenic siRNAs. This new micellar nanomedicine could potentially expand the utility of siRNA-based therapies for cancer treatments that require intravenous injection.

Pancreatic Cancer Therapy by Systemic Administration of VEGF SiRNA Contained in Calcium Phosphate/charge-conversional Polymer Hybrid Nanoparticles

Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22580114

Development of an efficient in vivo delivery vehicle of small interfering RNA (siRNA) is the key challenge for successful siRNA-based therapies. In this study, toward systemic delivery of siRNA to solid tumors, a smart polymer/calcium phosphate (CaP)/siRNA hybrid nanoparticle was prepared to feature biocompatibility, reversible stability and endosomal escape functionality using a pH sensitive block copolymer of poly(ethylene glycol) and charge-conversional polymer (PEG-CCP), of which anionic functional groups could be converted to cationic groups in an endosomal acidic condition for facilitated endosomal escape. Nanoparticles were confirmed to be approximately 100nm in size, narrowly dispersed and spherical. Also, the nanoparticle was highly tolerable in medium containing serum, while releasing the entrapped siRNA in a cytoplasm-mimicking ionic condition, presumably based on the equilibrium between CaP complexes and calcium ions. Further, the nanoparticle showed high gene silencing efficiency in cultured pancreatic cancer cells (BxPC3) without associated cytotoxicity. Ultimately, systemic administration of the nanoparticles carrying vascular endothelium growth factor (VEGF) siRNA led to the significant reduction in the subcutaneous BxPC3 tumor growth, well consistent with the enhanced accumulation of siRNA and the significant VEGF gene silencing (~68%) in the tumor. Thus, the hybrid nanoparticle was demonstrated to be a promising formulation toward siRNA-based cancer therapies.

NanoPARCEL: a Method for Controlling Cellular Behavior with External Light

Chemical Communications (Cambridge, England). Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22798992

We developed a simple preparation procedure for the protein encapsulated nanoparticle and used the nanoparticle for spatiotemporal activity control of various proteins. We succeeded in the local protein activation within cells by light using the nanoparticle.

Bioactive Polymeric Metallosomes Self-assembled Through Block Copolymer-metal Complexation

Journal of the American Chemical Society. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22834643

Spontaneous formation of polymeric metallosomes with uniform size (~100 nm) was found to occur in aqueous medium through the reaction of an anticancer agent, (1,2-diaminocyclohexane)platinum(II) (DACHPt), with a Y-shaped block copolymer of ω-cholesteroyl-poly(L-glutamic acid) and two-armed poly(ethylene glycol) (PEGasus-PLGA-Chole). Circular dichroism spectrum measurements revealed that the PLGA segment forms an α-helix structure within the metallosomes, suggesting that secondary-structure formation of metallocomplexed PLGA segment may drive the self-assembly of the system into vesicular structure. These metallosomes can encapsulate water-soluble fluorescent macromolecules into their inner aqueous phase and eventually deliver them selectively into tumor tissues in mice, owing to the prolonged blood circulation. Accordingly, fluorescent imaging of the tumor was successfully demonstrated along with an appreciable antitumor activity by DACHPt moieties retained in the vesicular wall of the metallosomes, indicating the potential of metallosomes as multifunctional drug carriers.

In Vivo Messenger RNA Introduction into the Central Nervous System Using Polyplex Nanomicelle

PloS One. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23418537

Messenger RNA (mRNA) introduction is a promising approach to produce therapeutic proteins and peptides without any risk of insertion mutagenesis into the host genome. However, it is difficult to introduce mRNA in vivo mainly because of the instability of mRNA under physiological conditions and its strong immunogenicity through the recognition by Toll-like receptors (TLRs). We used a novel carrier based on self-assembly of a polyethylene glycol (PEG)-polyamino acid block copolymer, polyplex nanomicelle, to administer mRNA into the central nervous system (CNS). The nanomicelle with 50 nm in diameter has a core-shell structure with mRNA-containing inner core surrounded by PEG layer, providing the high stability and stealth property to the nanomicelle. The functional polyamino acids possessing the capacity of pH-responsive membrane destabilization allows smooth endosomal escape of the nanomicelle into the cytoplasm. After introduction into CNS, the nanomicelle successfully provided the sustained protein expression in the cerebrospinal fluid for almost a week. Immune responses after mRNA administration into CNS were effectively suppressed by the use of the nanomicelle compared with naked mRNA introduction. In vitro analyses using specific TLR-expressing HEK293 cells confirmed that the nanomicelle inclusion prevented mRNA from the recognition by TLRs. Thus, the polyplex nanomicelle is a promising system that simultaneously resolved the two major problems of in vivo mRNA introduction, the instability and immunogenicity, opening the door to various new therapeutic strategies using mRNA.

Targeted Gene Delivery by Polyplex Micelles with Crowded PEG Palisade and CRGD Moiety for Systemic Treatment of Pancreatic Tumors

Biomaterials. Mar, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24439417

Adequate retention in systemic circulation is the preliminary requirement for systemic gene delivery to afford high bioavailability into the targeted site. Polyplex micelle formulated through self-assembly of oppositely-charged poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-polycation block copolymer and plasmid DNA has gained tempting perspective upon its advantageous core-shell architecture, where outer hydrophilic PEG shell offers superior stealth behaviors. Aiming to promote these potential characters toward systemic applications, we strategically introduced hydrophobic cholesteryl moiety at the ω-terminus of block copolymer, anticipating to promote not only the stability of polyplex structure but also the tethered PEG crowdedness. Moreover, Mw of PEG in the PEGylated polyplex micelle was elongated up to 20 kDa for expecting further enhancement in PEG crowdedness. Furthermore, cyclic RGD peptide as ligand molecule to integrin receptors was installed at the distal end of PEG in order for facilitating targeted delivery to the tumor site as well as promoting cellular uptake and intracellular trafficking behaviors. Thus constructed cRGD conjugated polyplex micelle with the elevated PEG shielding was challenged to a modeled intractable pancreatic cancer in mice, achieving potent tumor growth suppression by efficient gene expression of antiangiogenic protein (sFlt-1) at the tumor site.

Three-layered Polyplex Micelle As a Multifunctional Nanocarrier Platform for Light-induced Systemic Gene Transfer

Nature Communications. Apr, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24694458

Nanocarriers responding to light have great potential for pinpoint therapy, and recent studies have revealed promising in vivo activity. However, light-selective gene transfer still remains challenging in the systemic application. Here we report systemic light-responsive nanocarriers for gene delivery developed through the sequential self-assembly of ABC-type triblock copolymer/DNA/dendrimeric photosensitizer, forming polyplex micelles with three-layered functional nanocompartments. The DNA-packaged core is covered by the photosensitizer-incorporated intermediate layer, which is encompassed by an outer shielding shell. This three-layered structure permits multistep photosensitizer and DNA delivery into a solid tumour by a systemic route: the shielding layer minimizes unfavourable interactions with blood components, and the photosensitizer is delivered to endo-/lysosomal membranes to facilitate light-selective cytoplasmic translocation of the micelles, accomplishing DNA delivery into the nucleus to exert gene expression. The polyplex micelles display >100-fold photoenhanced gene expression in cultured cells and exhibit light-induced in vivo gene transfer in solid tumours following systemic administration.

Optimized Rod Length of Polyplex Micelles for Maximizing Transfection Efficiency and Their Performance in Systemic Gene Therapy Against Stroma-rich Pancreatic Tumors

Biomaterials. Jul, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24720877

Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) modification onto a gene delivery carrier for systemic application results in a trade-off between prolonged blood circulation and promoted transfection because high PEG shielding is advantageous in prolonging blood retention, while it is disadvantageous with regard to obtaining efficient transfection owing to hampered cellular uptake. To tackle this challenging issue, the present investigation focused on the structure of polyplex micelles (PMs) obtained from PEG-poly(l-lysine) (PEG-PLys) block copolymers characterized as rod-shaped structures to seek the most appreciable formulation. Comprehensive investigations conducted with particular focus on stability, PEG crowdedness, and rod length, controlled by varying PLys segment length, clarified the effect of these structural features, with particular emphasis on rod length as a critical parameter in promoting cellular uptake. PMs with rod length regulated below the critical threshold length of 200 nm fully exploited the benefits of cross-linking and the cyclic RGD ligand, consequently, exhibiting remarkable transfection efficiency comparable with that of ExGen 500 and Lipofectamine(®) LTX with PLUS™ even though PMs were PEG shielded. The identified PMs exhibited significant antitumor efficacy in systemic treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, whereas PMs with rod length above 200 nm exhibited negligible antitumor efficacy despite a superior blood circulation property, thereby highlighting the significance of controlling the rod length of PMs to promote gene transduction.

Bundled Assembly of Helical Nanostructures in Polymeric Micelles Loaded with Platinum Drugs Enhancing Therapeutic Efficiency Against Pancreatic Tumor

ACS Nano. Jul, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24927216

Supramolecular assemblies of amphiphilic block copolymers having polypeptide segments offer significant advantages for tailoring spatial arrangement based on secondary structures in their optically active backbones. Here, we demonstrated the critical effect of α-helix bundles in cisplatin-conjugated poly(L- (or D-)glutamate) [P(L(or D)Glu)-CDDP] segment on the packaging of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-P(L(or D)Glu)-CDDP block copolymers in the core of polymeric micelles (CDDP/m) and enhanced micelle tolerability to harsh in vivo conditions for accomplishing appreciable antitumor efficacy against intractable pancreatic tumor by systemic injection. CDDP/m prepared from optically inactive PEG-poly(D,L-glutamate) (P(D,LGlu)), gradually disintegrated in the bloodstream, resulting in increased accumulation in liver and spleen and reduced antitumor efficacy. Alternatively, CDDP/m from optically active PEG-P(L(or D)Glu) maintained micelle structure during circulation, and eventually attained selective tumor accumulation while reducing nonspecific distribution to liver and spleen. Circular dichroism and small-angle X-ray scattering measurements indicated regular bundled assembly of α-helices in the core of CDDP/m from PEG-P(L(or D)Glu), which is suggested to stabilize the micelle structure against dilution in physiological condition. CDDP/m suffered corrosion by chlorides in medium, yet the optically active micelles with α-helix bundles kept the micelle structure for prolonged time, with slowly releasing unimers and dimers from the surface of the bundled core in an erosion-like process, as verified by ultracentrifugation analysis. This is in sharp contrast with the abrupt disintegration of CDDP/m from PEG-P(D,LGlu) without secondary structures. The tailored assembly in the core of the polymeric micelles through regular arrangement of constituting segments is key to overcome their undesirable disintegration in bloodstream, thereby achieving efficient delivery of loaded drugs into target tissues.

Intraperitoneal Administration of a Tumor-associated Antigen SART3, CD40L, and GM-CSF Gene-loaded Polyplex Micelle Elicits a Vaccine Effect in Mouse Tumor Models

PloS One. 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25013909

Polyplex micelles have demonstrated biocompatibility and achieve efficient gene transfection in vivo. Here, we investigated a polyplex micelle encapsulating genes encoding the tumor-associated antigen squamous cell carcinoma antigen recognized by T cells-3 (SART3), adjuvant CD40L, and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) as a DNA vaccine platform in mouse tumor models with different types of major histocompatibility antigen complex (MHC). Intraperitoneally administrated polyplex micelles were predominantly found in the lymph nodes, spleen, and liver. Compared with mock controls, the triple gene vaccine significantly prolonged the survival of mice harboring peritoneal dissemination of CT26 colorectal cancer cells, of which long-term surviving mice showed complete rejection when re-challenged with CT26 tumors. Moreover, the DNA vaccine inhibited the growth and metastasis of subcutaneous CT26 and Lewis lung tumors in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, respectively, which represent different MHC haplotypes. The DNA vaccine highly stimulated both cytotoxic T lymphocyte and natural killer cell activities, and increased the infiltration of CD11c+ DCs and CD4+/CD8a+ T cells into tumors. Depletion of CD4+ or CD8a+ T cells by neutralizing antibodies deteriorated the anti-tumor efficacy of the DNA vaccine. In conclusion, a SART3/CD40L+GM-CSF gene-loaded polyplex micelle can be applied as a novel vaccine platform to elicit tumor rejection immunity regardless of the recipient MHC haplotype.

A Tadpole-shaped Gene Carrier with Distinct Phase Segregation in a Ternary Polymeric Micelle

Soft Matter. Apr, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25711768

A distinct tadpole-shaped nanostructure characterized by a spherical head and an extended shaft was identified in a single plasmid DNA (pDNA)-based polymeric micelle. The tadpole-shaped structure was constructed by adding anionic chondroitin sulfate (CS) to the rod-shaped polyplex micelle containing a single pDNA molecule packaged by the PEG-polycation block copolymer through their electrostatic self-assembly. The complex consequently developed a novel structure composed of segregated domains of the CS-rich inflated head and CS-poor folded DNA tail. Hence, this tadpole structure can be regarded as evidence that distinct phase segregation occurred in a single polymeric micelle containing pDNA.

Feasibility of a Subcutaneously Administered Block/homo-mixed Polyplex Micelle As a Carrier for DNA Vaccination in a Mouse Tumor Model

Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society. May, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25819159

In this study, the potential of DNA vaccine by subcutaneously (s.c.) administered block/homo-mixed (B/H) polyplex micelles carrying genes encoding tumor-associated antigen SART3 as well as CD40L and GM-CSF was compared with the intraperitoneal (i.p.) and intravenous (i.v.) administrations or electroporation method. Confocal laser microscopy revealed high localization of polyplexes in groin lymph nodes and local skin tissues after s.c. administration, and in the mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, and spleen after i.p. administration, but not after i.v. administration. Real-time RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry showed transgene expression in the above organs by s.c. and i.p. administered B/H polyplex micelles, but not by the i.v. administration or electroporation. Polyplex-carried DNA vaccines significantly decreased the weight of subcutaneous CT26 tumors in mice compared to the mock (2.9±0.8 vs 6.4±2.6 g, P<0.05 for s.c.; 3.2±1.1 vs 4.7±2.1 g, P<0.05 for i.p. administration). The survival rate was improved by s.c. administration of the DNA vaccine (P<0.05) and by the i.p. administered DNA vaccine (P<0.01) compared with that of the mock controls in mice with peritoneally disseminated CT26 cancer. Such therapeutic effects were not observed by the naked DNA, i.v. administered DNA vaccine or electroporation. CTL and NK cell activities of splenocytes and infiltration of CD11c(+) DCs, and CD4(+) and CD8a(+) T cells into tumor tissues were upregulated in the s.c. administered DNA vaccine group (P<0.05), which was consistent with i.p. administration. No abnormal findings in local injection sites, body weight, or blood examinations were observed by s.c. or i.p. administration of polyplex micelles, whereas proinflammatory cytokine production was minimized in visceral organs with the s.c. administered polyplex-carried DNA vaccine. In conclusion, s.c. administration of B/H polyplex micelles may be a safe and useful modality for DNA vaccination.

Ternary Polyplex Micelles with PEG Shells and Intermediate Barrier to Complexed DNA Cores for Efficient Systemic Gene Delivery

Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25912408

Simultaneous achievement of prolonged retention in blood circulation and efficient gene transfection activity in target tissues has always been a major challenge hindering in vivo applications of nonviral gene vectors via systemic administration. Herein, we constructed novel rod-shaped ternary polyplex micelles (TPMs) via complexation between the mixed block copolymers of poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly{N'-[N-(2-aminoethyl)-2-aminoethyl]aspartamide} (PEG-b-PAsp(DET)) and poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-b-PAsp(DET) (PNIPAM-b-PAsp(DET)) and plasmid DNA (pDNA) at room temperature, exhibiting distinct temperature-responsive formation of a hydrophobic intermediate layer between PEG shells and pDNA cores through facile temperature increase from room temperature to body temperature (~37 °C). As compared with binary polyplex micelles of PEG-b-PAsp(DET) (BPMs), TPMs were confirmed to condense pDNA into a more compact structure, which achieved enhanced tolerability to nuclease digestion and strong counter polyanion exchange. In vitro gene transfection results demonstrated TPMs exhibiting enhanced gene transfection efficiency due to efficient cellular uptake and endosomal escape. Moreover, in vivo performance evaluation after intravenous injection confirmed that TPMs achieved significantly prolonged blood circulation, high tumor accumulation, and promoted gene expression in tumor tissue. Moreover, TPMs loading therapeutic pDNA encoding an anti-angiogenic protein remarkably suppressed tumor growth following intravenous injection into H22 tumor-bearing mice. These results suggest TPMs with PEG shells and facilely engineered intermediate barrier to inner complexed pDNA have great potentials as systemic nonviral gene vectors for cancer gene therapy.

Toroidal Packaging of PDNA into Block Ionomer Micelles Exerting Promoted in Vivo Gene Expression

Biomacromolecules. Sep, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26226080

Selectively spooling single plasmid DNA (pDNA), as a giant polyelectrolyte, into a nanosized toroidal structure or folding it into a rod-like structure has been accomplished by polyion complexation with block catiomers to form polymeric micelles in varying NaCl concentrations. The interactive potency between the pDNA and block catiomers was determined to play a critical role in defining the ultimate structure of the pDNA; the formation of toroidal or rod-like structures was achieved by complexation in 600 or 0 mM NaCl solutions, respectively. Compared with the rod-like structure, the toroidal structure possessed superior biological functions capable not only of elevating in vitro transcription but also of elevating in vivo gene transduction efficiency. This demonstrated the great utility of the toroidal pDNA packaging as a distinct structured gene carrier. Furthermore, the fact that the NaCl concentration at which the toroidal structure was specifically formed corresponds to seawater stimulates interest in this ordered nanostructure as a possible inherent structure for DNA.

Rod-to-Globule Transition of PDNA/PEG-Poly(l-Lysine) Polyplex Micelles Induced by a Collapsed Balance Between DNA Rigidity and PEG Crowdedness

Small (Weinheim an Der Bergstrasse, Germany). Mar, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26426541

The role of poly(ethylene-glycol) (PEG) in rod-shaped polyplex micelle structures, having a characteristic core of folded plasmid DNA (pDNA) and a shell of tethered PEG chains, is investigated using PEG-detachable polyplex micelles. Rod shapes undergo change to compacted globule shapes by removal of PEG from polyplex micelles prepared from block copolymer with acid-labile linkage between PEG and poly(l-lysine) (PLys) through exposure to acidic milieu. This structural change supports the previous investigation on the rod shapes that PEG shell prevents the DNA structure from being globule shaped as the most favored structure in minimizing surface area. Noteworthy, despite the PEG is continuously depleted, the structural change does not occur in gradual shortening manner but the rod shapes keep their length unchanged and abruptly transform into globule shapes. Analysis of PEG density reveals the transition occurred when tethered PEG of rod shapes has decreased to a critical crowdedness, i.e., discontacted with neighboring PEG, which eventually illuminates another contribution, rigidity of DNA packaged as bundle in the rod shapes, in addition to the steric repulsion of PEG, in sustaining rod shapes. This investigation affirms significant role of PEG and also DNA rigidity as bundle in the formation of rod-shaped structures enduring the quest of compaction of charge-neutralized DNA in the polyplex micelles.

Enhanced Target Recognition of Nanoparticles by Cocktail PEGylation with Chains of Varying Lengths

Chemical Communications (Cambridge, England). Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26658952

Monodispersed gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were simultaneously decorated with lactosylated and non-modified shorter poly(ethylene glycol)s (PEGs) to enhance their target recognition. The decoration with sufficiently shorter PEGs dramatically enhanced the multivalent binding ability of lactosylated AuNPs to the lectin-fixed surface, possibly due to the enhanced mobility of the ligands via the spacer effect generated by the shorter PEG chains.

Polyplex Micelles with Double-Protective Compartments of Hydrophilic Shell and Thermoswitchable Palisade of Poly(oxazoline)-Based Block Copolymers for Promoted Gene Transfection

Biomacromolecules. Jan, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26682466

Improving the stability of polyplex micelles under physiological conditions is a critical issue for promoting gene transfection efficiencies. To this end, hydrophobic palisade was installed between the inner core of packaged plasmid DNA (pDNA) and the hydrophilic shell of polyplex micelles using a triblock copolymer consisting of hydrophilic poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline), thermoswitchable amphiphilic poly(2-n-propyl-2-oxazoline) (PnPrOx) and cationic poly(L-lysine). The two-step preparation procedure, mixing the triblock copolymer with pDNA below the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of PnPrOx, followed by incubation above the LCST to form a hydrophobic palisade of the collapsed PnPrOx segment, induced the formation of spatially aligned hydrophilic-hydrophobic double-protected polyplex micelles. The prepared polyplex micelles exhibited significant tolerance against attacks from nuclease and polyanions compared to those without hydrophobic palisades, thereby promoting gene transfection. These results corroborated the utility of amphiphilic poly(oxazoline) as a molecular thermal switch to improve the stability of polyplex gene carriers relevant for physiological applications.

Systemic Delivery of Messenger RNA for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer Using Polyplex Nanomicelles with a Cholesterol Moiety

Biomaterials. Mar, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26763736

Systemic delivery of messenger RNA (mRNA) is technically challenging because mRNA is highly susceptible to enzymatic degradation in the blood circulation. In this study, we used a nanomicelle-based platform, prepared from mRNA and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-polycation block copolymers. A cholesterol (Chol) moiety was attached to the ω-terminus of the block copolymer to increase the stability of the nanomicelle by hydrophobic interaction. After in vitro screening, polyaspartamide with four aminoethylene repeats in its side chain (PAsp(TEP)) was selected as the cationic segment of the block copolymer, because it contributes to enhance nuclease resistance and high protein expression from the mRNA. After intravenous injection, PEG-PAsp(TEP)-Chol nanomicelles showed significantly enhanced blood retention of mRNA in comparison to nanomicelles without Chol. We used the nanomicelles for treating intractable pancreatic cancer in a subcutaneous inoculation mouse model through the delivery of mRNA encoding an anti-angiogenic protein (sFlt-1). PEG-PAsp(TEP)-Chol nanomicelles generated efficient protein expression from the delivered mRNA in tumor tissue, resulting in remarkable inhibition of the tumor growth, whereas nanomicelles without Chol failed to show a detectable therapeutic effect. In conclusion, the stabilized nanomicelle system led to the successful systemic delivery of mRNA in therapeutic application, holding great promise for the treatment of various diseases.

Influence of RNA Strand Rigidity on Polyion Complex Formation with Block Catiomers

Macromolecular Rapid Communications. Mar, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26765970

Polyion complexes (b-PICs) are prepared by mixing single- or double-stranded oligo RNA (aniomer) with poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(L-lysine) (PEG-PLL) (block catiomer) to clarify the effect of aniomer chain rigidity on association behaviors at varying concentrations. Here, a 21-mer single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) (persistence length: 1.0 nm) and a 21-mer double-stranded RNA (small interfering RNA, siRNA) (persistence length: 62 nm) are compared. Both oligo RNAs form a minimal charge-neutralized ionomer pair with a single PEG-PLL chain, termed unit b-PIC (uPIC), at low concentrations (<≈ 0.01 mg mL(-1)). Above the critical association concentration (≈ 0.01 mg mL(-1)), ssRNA b-PICs form secondary associates, PIC micelles, with sizes up to 30-70 nm, while no such multimolecular assembly is observed for siRNA b-PICs. The entropy gain associated with the formation of a segregated PIC phase in the multimolecular PIC micelles may not be large enough for rigid siRNA strands to compensate with appreciably high steric repulsion derived from PEG chains. Chain rigidity appears to be a critical parameter in polyion complex association.

Polyplex Micelle Installing Intracellular Self-processing Functionalities Without Free Catiomers for Safe and Efficient Systemic Gene Therapy Through Tumor Vasculature Targeting

Biomaterials. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27835820

Both efficiency and safety profiles are crucial for promotion of gene delivery systems towards practical applications. A promising template system was previously developed based on block catiomer of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-b-poly{N'-[N-(2-aminoethyl)-2-aminoehtyl]aspartamide}-cholesteryl [PEG-PAsp(DET)-cholesteryl] with strategies of ligand conjugation at the α-terminus for specific affinity to the targeted cells and cholesteryl conjugation at the ω-terminus for structural stabilization to obtain systemic retention. Aiming for advocating this formulation towards practical applications, in the current study, the binding profile of this polymer to plasmid DNA (pDNA) was carefully studied to address an issue of toxicity origin. Quantification of free polymer composition confirmed that the toxicity mainly results from unbound polymer and polyplex micelle itself has negligible toxicity. This evaluation allowed for identifying an optimal condition to prepare safe polyplex micelles for systemic application that possess maximal polymer-binding but exclude free polymers. The identified polyplex micelles then faced a drawback of limited transfection efficiency due to the absence of free polymer, which is an acknowledged tendency found in various synthetic gene carriers. Thus, series of functional components was strategically compiled to improve the transfection efficiency such as attachment of cyclic (Arg-Gly-Asp) (cRGD) peptide as a ligand onto the polyplex micelles to facilitate cellular uptake, use of endosome membrane disruptive catiomer of PAsp(DET) for facilitating endosome escape along with use of the conjugated cholesteryl group to amplify the effect of PAsp(DET) on membrane disruption, so as to obtain efficient transfection. The mechanistic investigation respecting the appreciated pH dependent protonation behavior of PAsp(DET) permitted to depict an intriguing scenario how the block catiomers manage to escape from the endosome entrapment in response to the pH gradient. Subsequent systemic application to the pancreatic tumor demonstrated a capability of vascular targeting mediated by the cRGD ligand, which was directly confirmed based on in situ confocal laser scanning microscopy observation. Encouraging this result, the vascular targeting to transfect a secretable anti-angiogenic gene was attempted to treat the intractable pancreatic tumor with anticipation that the strategy could circumvent the intrinsic physiological barriers derived from hypovascular and fibrotic characters. The obtained therapeutic efficiency demonstrates promising utilities of the proposed formulation as a safe systemic gene delivery carrier in practical use.

Poly(ethylene Glycol) Crowding As Critical Factor To Determine PDNA Packaging Scheme into Polyplex Micelles for Enhanced Gene Expression

Biomacromolecules. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27990798

A critical role of polyethylene glycol (PEG) crowding in the packaging of plasmid DNA (pDNA) into polyplex micelles (PMs) was investigated using a series of PEG-b-poly(l-lysine) (PEG-PLys) block copolymers with varying molecular weights of both PEG and PLys segments. Rod-shaped PMs preferentially formed when the tethered PEG chains covering pDNA in a precondensed state were dense enough to overlap one another (reduced tethering density (RTD) > 1), whereas globular PMs were obtained when they were not overlapped (RTD < 1). These results submitted a scheme that steric repulsive effect of PEG regulated packaging pathways of pDNA either through folding into rod-shape or collapsing into globular depending on whether the PEG chains are overlapped or not. The rod-shaped PMs gave significantly higher gene expression efficacies in a cell-free system compared to the globular PMs, demonstrating the practical relevance of regulating packaging structure of pDNA for developing efficient gene delivery systems.

Happy Birthday Kataoka-sensei!

Macromolecular Bioscience. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28079310

Effect of Shear Stress on Structure and Function of Polyplex Micelles from Poly(ethylene Glycol)-poly(l-lysine) Block Copolymers As Systemic Gene Delivery Carrier

Biomaterials. May, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28254691

Structural stability of polyplex micelles (PMs), prepared from plasmid DNA (pDNA) and poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(l-lysine) block catiomer (PEG-PLys), was evaluated in terms of their resistance against shear stress. When exposed to shear stress at magnitudes typically present in the blood stream, structural deterioration was observed in PMs owing to the partial removal of PEG-PLys strands. Eventually, impaired PEG coverage of the polyplex core led to accelerated degradation by nucleases, implying that structural deterioration by shear stress in blood stream may be a major cause of rapid clearance of PMs from blood circulation. To address this issue, introduction of disulfide crosslinking into the PM core was shown to be an efficient strategy, which successfully mitigated unfavorable effects of shear stress. Furthermore, improved in vivo blood retention profile and subsequently enhanced antitumor efficacy in systemic treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma were confirmed for the crosslinked PMs loaded with pDNA encoding an anti-angiogenic protein, suggesting that high stability under the shear stress during blood circulation may be a critical factor in systemically applicable gene delivery systems.

Block Copolymer Micellization As a Protection Strategy for DNA Origami

Angewandte Chemie (International Ed. in English). Mar, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 28295864

DNA nanotechnology enables the synthesis of nanometer-sized objects that can be site-specifically functionalized with a large variety of materials. For these reasons, DNA-based devices such as DNA origami are being considered for applications in molecular biology and nanomedicine. However, many DNA structures need a higher ionic strength than that of common cell culture buffers or bodily fluids to maintain their integrity and can be degraded quickly by nucleases. To overcome these deficiencies, we coated several different DNA origami structures with a cationic poly(ethylene glycol)-polylysine block copolymer, which electrostatically covered the DNA nanostructures to form DNA origami polyplex micelles (DOPMs). This straightforward, cost-effective, and robust route to protect DNA-based structures could therefore enable applications in biology and nanomedicine where unprotected DNA origami would be degraded.

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