Versatile types of polysaccharide-based supramolecular polycation/pDNA nanoplexes for gene delivery†
Different polysaccharide-based supramolecular polycations were readily synthesized by assembling multiple β-cyclodextrin-cored star polycations with an adamantane-functionalized dextran via host–guest interaction in the absence or presence of bioreducible linkages. Compared with nanoplexes of the starting star polycation and pDNA, the supramolecular polycation/pDNA nanoplexes exhibited similarly low cytotoxicity, improved cellular internalization and significantly higher gene transfection efficiencies. The incorporation of disulfide linkages imparted the supramolecular polycation/pDNA nanoplexes with the advantage of intracellular bioreducibility, resulting in better gene delivery properties. In addition, the antitumor properties of supramolecular polycation/pDNA nanoplexes were also investigated using a suicide gene therapy system. The present study demonstrates that the proper assembly of cyclodextrin-cored polycations with adamantane-functionalized polysaccharides is an effective strategy for the production of new nanoplex delivery systems.