Polymeric assembly of hyperbranched building blocks to establish tunable nanoplatforms for lysosome acidity-responsive gene/drug co-delivery†
This study plans to develop a nanoparticle technology that can assemble different polymeric “building blocks” with various desired functionalities into one nanosystem in a pH-dependent manner. For this purpose, polymeric building blocks were specifically designed with hyperbranched architectures, and orthogonal pH-reversible phenylboronic acid-diols were taken as “joints” to integrate them together. To verify the idea, a corona-core dual-polymer nanoassembly was prepared as the vehicle for lysosomotropic gene/drug co-delivery. Phenylboronic acid modified hyperbranched oligoethylenimine (OEI-PBA) was arranged to cluster around the hydrophobic core composed of hyperbranched polyglycerol, just by mixing two polymers in an appropriate ratio at neutral conditions. Compared with the parent OEI-PBA, this nanoassembly demonstrated better capture of plasmid DNA, highly enhanced activity for cellular transport and gene transfection (up to 100 fold), the ability to further load hydrophobic drugs, lysosome acidity-targeting pH-dependent release of both carried cargoes, and improved cell-biocompatibility. To evaluate its potential for combinational gene/drug therapy, in vitro experiments using the therapeutic p53 gene and antitumor doxorubicin as models were carried out. This intracellular co-delivery led to apparently synergetic anti-cancer effects in cultured cancer cells. This dynamic paradigm shows interesting features including easy manipulation, reversible conjugation, lysosome-targeting pH-responsiveness, high co-delivery efficiency, and functional expandability by further accommodating other building blocks.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Polymeric biomaterials for cancer nanotechnology