Labile catalytic packaging of DNA/siRNA: Control of gold nanoparticles "out" of DNA/siRNA complexes

Alex M. Chen, Oleh Taratula, Dongguang Wei, Hsin I. Yen, Thresia Thomas, T. J. Thomas, Tamara Minko, Huixin He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


A novel approach was developed to efficiently package and deliver nucleic acids with low generation polypropylenimine (PPI) dendrimers by using Au nanoparticles as a "labile catalytic" packaging agent. The gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) helped low generation dendrimers to package nucleic acids into discrete nanoparticles but are not included in the final DNA/siRNA complexes. Therefore it becomes possible to eliminate the potential toxic problems associated with Au NPs by selectively removing the Au NPs from the resulting nucleic acid complexes before their delivery to targeted cells. This is a new concept in using inorganic engineered nanoparticles in nucleic acid packaging and delivery applications. Furthermore, compared to the siRNA nanostructures (mainly randomly aggregated nanofibers) fabricated by low generation dendrimer alone (Generation 3), the siRNA nanoparticles packaged using this novel approach (by Au NPs modified with G3 PPI) can be internalized by cancer cells and the delivered siRNAs can efficiently silence their target mRNA. The efficiency of mRNA silencing by this novel approach is even superior to higher generation dendrimers (Generation 5).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3679-3688
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 27 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


  • Au nanoparticles
  • gene therapy
  • nonviral gene delivery
  • plasmid DNA
  • polypropylenimine (PPI) dendrimers
  • siRNA


Dive into the research topics of 'Labile catalytic packaging of DNA/siRNA: Control of gold nanoparticles "out" of DNA/siRNA complexes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this