Journal: Current Drug Delivery
Background: The lack of smart and controllable gene vectors with high safety and efficiency is still a main obstruction for clinical applications of gene therapy. Recently, the external physical stimuli, such as near infrared light induced temperature elevation, have been applied to enhance the gene transfection efficiency and specificity. The aim of this paper is to fabricate chitosan functionalized CuS nanoparticles (CuS@CS NPs) with small size and higher biocompatibility for enhanced gene delivery by photothermal effect.
Methods: CuS@CS NPs were successfully prepared by simple hydrothermal method. The biocompatibility was detected by MTT method and hymolytic analysis. pEGFP-C1was used as gene model, and its expression efficiency was detected by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry to investigate the effect of photothermal effect on the transfection efficiency.
Results: The CuS@CS NPs around 15 nm were successfully engineered. The modification of CuS nanoparticles with chitosan conduced to higher physiological stability and biocompatibility. The utilization of CuS@CS NPs in combination with external near infrared (NIR) laser irradiation could enhance gene transfection efficiency due to photothermal effect. The gene transfection efficiency of CuS@CS NPs found to increase from 5.05±0.54% (0 min) to 23.47±1.27% (10 min), significantly higher than the free polyethylenimine (18.15±1.03%).
Conclusion: CuS@CS NPs showed great capability to control gene delivery by an external NIR laser irradiation and enhance the gene transfection efficiency and specificity because of convenient preparation, stabilized optical properties, excellent photothermal effect and good biocompatibility. It encourages further exploration of the CuS@CS NPs as a photocontrollable nanovector for combined photothermal and gene therapy, as well as image guided therapy.
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