Yuxiang Chen, Zhigang Xue, Duo Zheng, Kun Xia, Yanzhong Zhao, Ting Liu, Zhigao Long and Jiahui Xia Pages 273 - 279 ( 7 )
Development of reliable vectors is a major challenge in gene therapy. Previous gene transfer methods using non-viral vectors, such as liposomes or nanoparticles, have resulted in relatively low levels (35∼ 50 %) of gene expression. We have developed a silicon nanoparticle (SNAP) system, a novel non-viral vector, for DNA transfer into cells. SNAP was synthesized chemically and modified with sodium chloride or sodium iodide. Electronmicroscopy of SNAP and fluorescence microscopy of fluorescence-labeled SNAP revealed that they were generated uniformly, had diameters of 10-100 nm, and showed a better efficiency (about 70 %) of DNA transfection into cells as well as protection of DNA against degradation. The microscopy also demonstrated the adhesion of SNAP with HT1080 cell surface and entry of SNAP into the cells without cytotoxicity. Intravenous and / or intra-abdominal administration of the SNAP to mice revealed the accumulation of SNAP in the cells of the brain, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, intestine, prostate and the testis without any pathological cell changes or mortality, suggesting that they passed through the blood-brain, blood-prostate, and blood-testis barriers. These findings indicate that the SNAP generated has good biological characteristics as a potential promising vector for gene transfer, gene therapy and drug delivery.
non-viral vector, dna transfer, gene expression, electronmicroscopy, for gene transfer, drug delivery
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