Deploying RNA and DNA using a functionalized carbon nanotube platform: implications for gene delivery

S. Alidori, K. Asqiriba, P. Londero, M. Bergkvist, M. Leona, D.A. Scheinberg, M.R. McDevitt
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, US

Keywords: carbon nanotube, RNAi, gene delivery, gene silencing, supramolecular

Summary:

Carbon nanotubes can transit across cell membranes and have effected the delivery of siRNA and plasmid DNA. Understanding the chemical identity of ammonium-functionalized carbon nanotube (f-CNT)-based nucleic acid delivery constructs is critical to design and implementation. Therefore, a quantitative investigation of the several different non-covalent interactions that exist between oligonucleotides and f-CNT was essential to maximizing their efficiency as drug delivery vehicles. Importantly, key evidence for the mechanism by which the oligonucleotide cargo could be ‘off-loaded’ from the f-CNT platform was proposed from these data, and is being exploited to further evaluate the performance of the construct in biological systems. Constructs were able to silence protein expression more effectively and with lower cytotoxicity than a conventional transfection agent. The key advantage of quantifying these parameters will be realized in the design optimization of these constructs in order to accomplish specific and efficient systemic delivery of gene-vectors to cellular targets in vivo.