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Polyethyleneimine-coated quantum dots for miRNA delivery and its enhanced suppression in HepG2 cells

Authors Liang G, Li Y, Feng W, Wang X, Jing A, Li J, Ma K

Received 27 August 2016

Accepted for publication 13 October 2016

Published 15 November 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 6079—6088

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S120828

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun


Gaofeng Liang,1 Yang Li,1 Wenpo Feng,1 Xinshuai Wang,2 Aihua Jing,1 Jinghua Li,1 Kaiwang Ma1

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medical Technology & Engineering, 2Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Henan University of Science & Technology, Luoyang, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Quantum dots (QDs) have been intensively investigated for bioimaging, drug delivery, and labeling probes because of their unique optical properties. In this study, CdSe/ZnS QDs-based nonviral vectors with the dual functions of delivering miR-26a plasmid and bioimaging were formulated by capping the surface of CdSe/ZnS QDs with polyethyleneimine (PEI). The PEI-coated QDs were capable of condensing miR-26a expression vector into nanocomplexes that can emit strong red luminescence when loaded with CdSe/ZnS QDs. Further results showed that PEI-modified nanoparticles (NPs) could transfect miR-26a plasmid into HepG2 cells in vitro. Meanwhile, imaging of living cells could be achieved based on the CdSe/ZnS QDs. Further study suggested that miR-26a transfection up-regulated miR-26a expression, induced cycle arrest, and triggered proliferation inhibition in HepG2 cells. The results indicated that PEI-coated QD NPs possess the capability of bioimaging and gene delivery and could be a promising vehicle with the engineering of QD NPs for gene therapy in the future.

Keywords: miR-26a, PEI/QDs, HepG2, gene delivery, bioimaging

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