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Optimization and physicochemical characterization of a cationic lipid-phosphatidylcholine mixed emulsion formulated as a highly efficient vehicle that facilitates adenoviral gene transfer

Authors Kim SY, Lee SJ, Kim JK, Choi HG, Lim SJ

Received 19 July 2017

Accepted for publication 14 September 2017

Published 9 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 7323—7335


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Soo-Yeon Kim,1,2 Sang-Jin Lee,2 Jin-Ki Kim,3 Han-Gon Choi,3 Soo-Jeong Lim1

1Department of Bioscience and Bioengineering, Sejong University, Seoul, Kwangjin-gu, Seoul, 2Immunotherapeutics Branch, Research Institute, National Cancer Center, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, 3College of Pharmacy & Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Hanyang University, Sangnok-gu, Ansan, Republic of Korea

Abstract: Cationic lipid-based nanoparticles enhance viral gene transfer by forming electrostatic complexes with adenoviral vectors. We recently demonstrated the superior complexation capabilities of 1,2-dioleoyl-3-trimethylammonium propane (DOTAP) emulsion compared with a liposomal counterpart but the cytotoxicity of DOTAP emulsions remained a challenge. The present study is aimed at formulating an emulsion capable of acting as a highly effective viral gene transfer vehicle with reduced cytotoxicity and to physicochemically characterize the structures of virus-emulsion complexes in comparison with virus–liposome complexes when the only difference between emulsions and liposomes was the presence or absence of inner oil core. The emulsion formulation was performed by 1) reducing the content of DOTAP while increasing the content of zwitterionic lipid 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC), and 2) optimizing the oil content. The complexation capability of formulated DOTAP:DMPC mixed emulsions was similar to those of emulsions containing DOTAP alone while displaying significantly lower cytotoxicity. The complexation capabilities of the DOTAP:DMPC mixed emulsion were serum-compatible and were monitored in a variety of cell types, whereas its liposomal counterpart was totally ineffective. Characterization by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and dynamic light scattering studies indicated that the optimized emulsions spontaneously surrounded the virus particles to generate emulsions that encapsulated the viral particles, whereas viral particles merely attached to the surfaces of the counterpart liposomes to form multiviral aggregates. Overall, these studies demonstrated that optimized DOTAP:DMPC mixed emulsions are potentially useful for adenoviral gene delivery due to less cytotoxicity and the unique ability to encapsulate the viral particle, highlighting the importance of nanoparticle formulation.

Keywords: cationic lipid, oil, emulsion, adenovirus, gene delivery

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