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Complexation of plasmid DNA and poly(ethylene oxide)/poly(propylene oxide) polymers for safe gene delivery

Hemant Kumar Daima, Shiv Shankar, Amanda Anderson, Selvakannan Periasamy, Suresh Bhargava, Vipul Bansal
Environmental chemistry letters 2018 v.16 no.4 pp. 1457-1462
Escherichia coli, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, adverse effects, composite polymers, gel electrophoresis, gene therapy, gene transfer, genes, green fluorescent protein, light scattering, mammals, nanoparticles, phosphates, plasmids, polyethylene glycol, propylene oxide, toxicity, zeta potential
Gene delivery is the process of introducing foreign genetic material, such as DNA or RNA, into host cells. Gene therapy utilizes gene delivery to deliver genetic material with the goal of treating a disease or condition in the cell. Actual viral vectors may have side effects, while actual systems using metal nanoparticles for gene delivery are toxic. Therefore, we designed here a biocompatible tri-block copolymer PEO₂₀–PPO₆₉–PEO₂₀ as a gene delivery vector [PEO: poly(ethylene oxide); PPO: poly(propylene oxide)]. We studied the conjugation of PEO₂₀–PPO₆₉–PEO₂₀ and DNA using various techniques. Results of gel retardation assay along with zeta potential and dynamic light scattering provide evidence of DNA sequestration. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy show that the PO₄³⁻ groups of plasmid DNA are primarily involved during nanoconjugate construction. The integrity and functionality of plasmid DNA within the cellular environment is further demonstrated by the expression of green fluorescent protein gene in Escherichia coli. Overall, our findings support the use of block copolymers as delivery systems for mammalian and plant cells.