Nanotech 2010

Efficient Intracellular delivery of bioactive molecules using

I. Canton, M. Massignani, N. Warren, J. Madsen, S.P. Armes, A.L. Lewis, G. Battaglia
University of Sheffield, UK

Keywords: polymersomes, siRNA delivery, antibody delivery, knock-down, intracellular delivery


Effective cytosolic delivery, i.e. the delivery of active molecules within live cell, has tremendous clinical potential as well as the ability to gather morphological, structural, and chemical information about the status of specific molecules in their natural environment. Small hydrophobic molecules can permeate cell membranes with relative ease, but hydrophilic molecules and especially large macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids require a vector to assist their transport across the cell membrane. This must be designed so as to ensure intracellular delivery without compromising cell viability. We have recently achieved this by using pH sensitive diblock copolymers that self assemble to form vesicles in aqueous solution. These nanoscopic polymer vesicles (a.k.a. polymersomes) have the ability to delivery large quantity of their cargo within the cytosol without affecting the cell metabolic activity. We show the effective cytosolic delivery of siRNA and antibodies without affecting the viability of cells or even triggering inflammatory pathways.
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