Three blending methods were introduced to combine a biodegradable cationic- polyurethane (PUg3) and polyethylenimine (PEI) together with DNA by different mixing sequences. Results of gel electrophoresis assays and particle size measurements show that complexes prepared by method 1 and 3 bear an ability to condense DNA into small nanoparticles. On the contrary, the use of method 2 in making complexes produces significantly large particles because of the weaker interaction with DNA and lack of DNA condensation. Moreover, cell proliferation assays show that no cytotoxicity of the DNA/blended-polymers complexes (exhibited by method 1) was found and due to a result of the outer coating of PUg3, reducing cytotoxic PEI exposure outside the complexes. With a new technique in pharmaceutics, the complexes prepared for DNA delivery by mixing of PEI and PUg3 with DNA in a sequence (method 1) could achieve an even better transfection efficiency (reaching 40% higher) than using PEI alone as well as reduce the cytotoxicity substantially. In conclusion, a new class of complexes (non-viral combo-system) made by a skillful blending sequence (method 1) has been designed and demonstrated to obtain the beneficial properties from two useful and individual polymers for gene delivery. This method can be used in greatly improving the transfection efficiency of polymer-based gene vectors. The blended polymers with DNA also have a better biocompatibility and no cytotoxicity, which are the requirements and critical points for great success in performing gene therapy in vivo.
Keywords: Blend, cationic-polyurethane, polyethylenimine, cytotoxicity, transfection
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