Citrate-coated magnetic polyethyleneimine composites for plasmid DNA delivery into Glioblastoma

Ken Cham Fai Leung*, Kathy W.Y. Sham, Josie M.Y. Lai, Yi Xiang J. Wang, Chi Hin Wong, Christopher H.K. Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Several ternary composites that are based on branched polyethyleneimine (bPEI 25 kDa, polydispersity 2.5, 0.1 or 0.2 ng), citrate-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (citrate-NPs, 8-10 nm, 0.1, 1.0, or 2.5 µg), and reporter circular plasmid DNA pEGFP-C1 or pRL-CMV (pDNA 0.5 µg) were studied for optimization of the best composite for transfection into glioblastoma U87MG or U138MG cells. The efficiency in terms of citrate-NP and plasmid DNA gene delivery with the ternary composites could be altered by tuning the bPEI/citrate-NP ratios in the polymer composites, which were characterized by Prussian blue staining, in vitro magnetic resonance imaging as well as green fluorescence protein and luciferase expression. Among the composites prepared, 0.2 ng bPEI/0.5 μg pDNA/1.0 µg citrate-NP ternary composite possessed the best cellular uptake efficiency. Composite comprising 0.1 ng bPEI/0.5 μg pDNA/0.1 μg citrate-NP gave the optimal efficiency for the cellular uptake of the two plasmid DNAs to the nucleus. The best working bPEI concentration range should not exceed 0.2 ng/well to achieve a relatively low cytotoxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2228
Number of pages10
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Citrate
  • Gene delivery
  • Magnetic nanoparticle
  • Nanostructure
  • Polyethyleneimine


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