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The sustained-release behavior and in vitro and in vivo transfection of pEGFP-loaded core-shell-structured chitosan-based composite particles

Authors Wang Y, Lin F, Zhao Y, Wang M, Ge X, Gong Z, Bao D, Gu Y

Received 22 November 2013

Accepted for publication 3 April 2014

Published 23 October 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 4965—4978


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Yun Wang,1 Fu-xing Lin,2 Yu Zhao,1 Mo-zhen Wang,2 Xue-wu Ge,2 Zheng-xing Gong,1 Dan-dan Bao,1 Yu-fang Gu1

1Department of Plastic Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, 2CAS Key Laboratory of Soft Matter Chemistry, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Novel submicron core-shell-structured chitosan-based composite particles ­encapsulated with enhanced green fluorescent protein plasmids (pEGFP) were prepared by complex coacervation method. The core was pEGFP-loaded thiolated N-alkylated chitosan (TACS) and the shell was pH- and temperature-responsive hydroxybutyl chitosan (HBC). pEGFP-loaded TACS-HBC composite particles were spherical, and had a mean diameter of approximately 120 nm, as measured by transmission electron microscopy and particle size analyzer. pEGFP showed sustained release in vitro for >15 days. Furthermore, in vitro transfection in human embryonic kidney 293T and human cervix epithelial cells, and in vivo transfection in mice skeletal muscle of loaded pEGFP, were investigated. Results showed that the expression of loaded pEGFP, both in vitro and in vivo, was slow but could be sustained over a long period. pEGFP expression in mice skeletal muscle was sustained for >60 days. This work indicates that these submicron core-shell-structured chitosan-based composite particles could potentially be used as a gene vector for in vivo controlled gene transfection.

Keywords: gene therapy, gene transfection, hydroxybutyl chitosan, thiolated N-alkylated chitosan, pEGFP, complex coacervation

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