Virion-Mimicking Nanocapsules from pH-Controlled Hierarchical Self-Assembly for Gene Delivery


  • This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (DMR-0705298), American Cancer Society (RSG-06-118-01-CDD), and National Institutes of Health (RR-016474).


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A new concept for fabricating nanocarriers carrying free DNA for gene delivery to overcome the intracellular dissociation barrier of cationic polymer/DNA complexes is presented. Free DNA plasmids (shown in green) are encapsulated in a nanocapsule core, which is protected by a hydrophobic membrane (purple) with a poly(ethylene glycol) outer layer (blue). The nanocapsules can release free DNA into the cells and have high in vitro and in vivo transfection efficiency.