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Degradable poly(ester amine) based on poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate and polyethylenimine as a gene carrier

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Abstract

Degradable poly(ester amine) (PEA) based on poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PMEG) and polyethylenimine (PEI) were synthesized by Michael addition reaction. The ratios of PEI to PMEG in PEAs were 0.99, 1.02, and 1.07 with corresponding number-average molecular weight of 1.3 × 104, 1.2 × 104, and 0.9 × 104, respectively. Degradation rate of PEA at pH 7.4 was higher than that at pH 5.6. Good plasmid condensation and protection ability was shown when N/P molar ratio of PEA to DNA was above 15 (N: nitrogen element in PEA, P: phosphate in DNA). PEA/DNA complexes had positive zeta potential, narrow size distribution, good dispersity, and spheric shape with size below 250 nm when N/P ratio was above 30, suggestion of their endocytosis potential. Compared with PEI 25 KDa, the PEAs showed essential nontoxic to HeLa, HepG2 and 293T cells. With an increase in the molecular weight of PMEG, the transfection efficiency of PEAs in HeLa, HepG2 and 293T showed a tendency to decrease as well as the percent decrease of gene transfection efficiency with serum. The mechanism of PEA-mediated gene transfection was attributed to “proton sponge effect” of PEI in the PEA. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010

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