Cationic glycopolymers for the delivery of pDNA to human dermal fibroblasts and rat mesenchymal stem cells

Karina Kizjakina, Joshua M. Bryson, Giovanna Grandinetti, Theresa M. Reineke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Progenitor and pluripotent cell types offer promise as regenerative therapies but transfecting these sensitive cells has proven difficult. Herein, a series of linear trehalose-oligoethyleneamine " click" copolymers were synthesized and examined for their ability to deliver plasmid DNA (pDNA) to two progenitor cell types, human dermal fibroblasts (HDFn) and rat mesenchymal stem cells (RMSC). Seven polymer vehicle analogs were synthesized in which three parameters were systematically varied: the number of secondary amines (4-6) within the polymer repeat unit (Tr4 33, Tr5 30, and Tr6 32), the end group functionalities [PEG (Tr4 128PEG-a, Tr4 118PEG-b), triphenyl (Tr4 107-c), or azido (Tr4 99-d)], and the molecular weight (degree of polymerization of about 30 or about 100) and the biological efficacy of these vehicles was compared to three controls: Lipofectamine 2000, JetPEI, and Glycofect. The trehalose polymers were all able to bind and compact pDNA polyplexes, and promote pDNA uptake and gene expression [luciferase and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)] with these primary cell types and the results varied significantly depending on the polymer structure. Interestingly, in both cell types, Tr4 33 and Tr5 30 yielded the highest luciferase gene expression. However, when comparing the number of cells transfected with a reporter plasmid encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein, Tr4 33 and Tr4 107-c yielded the highest number of HDFn cells positive for EGFP. Interestingly, with RMSCs, all of the higher molecular weight analogs (Tr4 128PEG-a, Tr4 118PEG-b, Tr4 107-c, Tr4 99-d) yielded high percentages of cells positive for EGFP (30-40%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1851-1862
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge funding of this project provided by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation . We also would like to thank Dr. Mehdi Ashraf-Khorassani for performing LC-ESI-MS for small molecules, as well as Dr. Larry Sallans and Dr. Stephen Macha, both of University of Cincinnati Mass Spectrometry Facility, for valuable discussions in MS analysis of oligoamines. K.K. would like to thank Antons Sizovs for helpful discussions.


  • Biocompatibility
  • DNA
  • Drug Delivery
  • Nanoparticle
  • Polyethyleneoxide
  • Polymerization


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