Gene delivery using physical methods: an overview.

Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
Methods in Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 1.29). 02/2004; 245:147-66.
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Gene therapy shows promise in the treatment of vascular disease. However, traditional transfection methods commonly used in the laboratory are poorly translatable to in vivo conditions, primarily due to the immune response to viral vectors, the cellular toxicity of chemical transfection, and the technical impracticality of electroporation. Biodegradable polymers have shown promise as a safe, predictable, and nontoxic alternative, relying on endocytosis of synthetic polymeric carriers, which are bioconjugated to the targeted genetic material of choice. However, to date most of the feasibility studies have been exclusively performed in stem cells. Differentiated cell types would be prime targets for therapeutic gene modulation in the prevention of various disease processes. We aim to establish polymeric transfection as a method for gene therapy in cells of vascular origin. Here we compared the efficiency of polymeric transfection with chemical transfection agents routinely used in a laboratory setting in vascular smooth muscle cells. Human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMC) were transfected with fluorescently labeled GAPDH siRNA or negative control (NC) siRNA. Transfection methods included poly(B-amino ester) polymer (StemFECT) bioconjugates, DharmaFECT2 complexes, and Santa Cruz complexes. Conjugate endocytosis was confirmed by fluorescent microscopy, and GAPDH gene silencing was assayed by qPCR normalized to 18S. Santa Cruz reagent complexes were the least efficient, with the maximum achievable gene silencing using a 9 μL reagent : 70 pmol siRNA/mL complex (59% ± 6%; n = 3). Maximum GADPH gene silencing using DharmaFECT2 was achieved with a 1.5 μL reagent : 100 pmol siRNA/mL complex (19% ± 1% expression versus NC; n = 4). Equivalent silencing was achieved using a comparable StemFECT bioconjugate of 1.3 μL polymer : 100 pmol siRNA/mL (25% ± 3% expression versus NC; n = 4; P = NS versus DharmaFECT2). By increasing the StemFECT bioconjugate to 1.95 μL polymer : 100 pmol siRNA/mL, gene silencing was significantly increased (10% ± 1% expression versus NC; n = 6; P < 0.05 versus DharmaFECT2 and StemFECT 1.3:100). HASMCs were efficiently transfected using polymeric bioconjugates in a manner comparable to and exceeding other transfection agents routinely used in vitro. This proof of concept establishes polymeric transfection as a viable method for in vitro investigation of differentiated vascular cells. Future studies will expand on this method of gene therapy for ex vivo transfection of whole vessel segments and in vivo transfection in animal models of vascular disease. Our long-term goal is to deliver molecular inhibitors of genes thought to play a role in intimal hyperplasia, restenosis, and vessel graft failure.
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    ABSTRACT: We present a microfluidic based injection system designed to achieve intracellular delivery of macromolecules by directing a picoliter-jet of a solution towards individual cells. After discussing the concept, we present design specification and criteria, elucidate performance and discuss results. The method has the potential to be quantitative and high throughput, overcoming limitations of current intracellular delivery protocols.
    Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering 03/2013; 23(3). DOI:10.1088/0960-1317/23/3/035026 · 1.73 Impact Factor