Poly(glycoamidoamine)s: Cationic glycopolymers for DNA delivery

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Polymer science is playing an exciting role in inspiring and advancing novel discoveries in the area of genetic drug delivery. Polymeric materials can be synthesized and chemically tailored to bind and compact nucleic acids into viral-like nanoparticles termed polyplexes that can deliver genetic materials into cells. This article highlights our work in this area to synthesize and study a novel class of cationic glycopolymers that we have termed poly(glycoamidoamine)s (PGAAs). The design of these materials has been inspired by many previous works in the literature. Carbohydrate comonomers have been incorporated into these structures to lower the toxicity of the delivery vehicle, and oligoamine moieties have been added to yield a cationic backbone that facilitates strong DNA binding, compaction, cellular uptake, and delivery of genetic material. PGAAs have been designed to vary in the carbohydrate size, the hydroxyl number and stereochemistry, the amine number, and the presence or absence of heterocyclic groups. Through structure-bioactivity studies, we have discovered that these materials are highly biocompatible, and each specific feature plays a large role in the observed delivery efficacy. Such structure-property studies are important for increasing our understanding of how the polymer chemistry affects the biological activity for the clinical development of polymer-based therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6895-6908
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2006


  • Carbohydrates
  • Drug delivery systems
  • Nanoparticles
  • Polyamides
  • Transfection


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