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Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopic investigation of cationic polymer/DNA complex formation

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Since DNA is not internalized efficiently by cells, the success of gene therapy depends on the availability of carriers to efficiently deliver genetic material into target cells. Gene delivery vectors can be broadly categorized into viral and non-viral ones. Non-viral gene delivery systems are represented by cationic lipids and polymers rely on the basics of supramolecular chemistry termed “self-assembling”: at physiological pH, they are cations and spontaneously form lipoplexes (for lipids) and polyplexes (for polymers) complexing nucleic acids. In this scenario, cationic polymers are commonly used as non-viral vehicles. Their effectiveness is strongly related to key parameters including DNA binding ability and stability in different environments. Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of SYBR Green I (DNA dye) was carried out to characterize cationic polymer/DNA complex (polyplex) formation dispersed in aqueous solution. Both fluorescence amplitude and lifetime proved to be very sensitive to the polymer/DNA ratio (N/P ratio, +/−).

© 2011 OSA/SPIE

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