Papers Published

  1. Chen, H. H. and Ho, Y. P. and Jiang, X. and Mao, H. Q. and Wang, T. H. and Leong, K. W., Quantitative comparison of intracellular unpacking kinetics of polyplexes by a model constructed from quantum Dot-FRET, Molecular Therapy, vol. 16 no. 2 (2008), pp. 324-332 .
    (last updated on 2010/06/11)

    A major challenge for non-viral gene delivery is gaining a mechanistic understanding of the rate-limiting steps. A critical barrier in polyplex-mediated gene delivery is the timely unpacking of polyplexes within the target cell to liberate DNA for efficient gene transfer. In this study, the component plasmid DNA and polymeric gene carrier were individually labeled with quantum dots (QDs) and Cy5 dyes, respectively, as a donor and acceptor pair for fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). The high signal-to-noise ratio in QD-mediated FRET enabled sensitive detection of discrete changes in polyplex stability. The intracellular uptake and dissociation of polyplexes through QD-FRET was captured over time by confocal microscopy. From quantitative image - based analysis, distributions of released plasmid within the endo/ lysosomal, cytosolic, and nuclear compartments formed the basis for constructing a three-compartment first-order kinetics model. Polyplex unpacking kinetics for chitosan, polyethylenimine, and polyphosphoramidate were compared and found to correlate well with transfection efficiencies. Thus, QD-FRET-enabled detection of polyplex stability combined with image-based quantification is a valuable method for studying mechanisms involved in polyplex unpacking and trafficking within live cells. We anticipate that this method will also aid the design of more efficient gene carriers.

    chitosan-DNA nanoparticles resonance energy-transfer gene delivery polyethylenimine/DNA complexes plasmid DNA efficiency polymers transfection expression vector