Biocleavable comb-shaped gene carriers from dextran backbones with bioreducible ATRP initiation sites
It is of crucial importance to design reduction-sensitive polysaccharide-based copolymers for intracellular triggered gene and drug delivery. In this work, a simple two-step method involving the reaction of hydroxyl groups of dextran with cystamine was first developed to introduce reduction-sensitive disulfide linked initiation sites of atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) onto dextran. Well-defined biocleavable comb-shaped vectors consisting of nonionic dextran backbones and disulfide-linked cationic P(DMAEMA) side chains were subsequently prepared via ATRP for highly efficient gene delivery. The P(DMAEMA) side chains can be readily cleavable from the dextran backbones under reducible conditions. Moreover, the bioreducible P(DMAEMA) side chains can be functionalized by poly(poly(ethylene glycol)ethyl ether methacrylate) (P(PEGEEMA)) end blocks to reduce the cytotoxicity and further enhance the gene transfection efficiency. This present study demonstrated that properly grafting short bioreducible polycation side chains from a nonionic polysaccharide backbone with biocleavable ATRP initiation sites is an effective means to produce a class of polysaccharide-based gene delivery vectors.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 33, Issue 6, February 2012, Pages 1873–1883