A series of new supramolecular polycations for effective gene transfection†
The development of safe and effective supramolecular polycations has attracted much attention. In this work, a series of novel cyclodextrin (CD)-based supramolecular assemblies were readily prepared via the host–guest interaction by assembling different adamantane-functionalized α-CD derivatives with multiple β-CD-cored polycations. The supramolecular assemblies were investigated in terms of their pDNA-binding capabilities, cytotoxicities, cellular internalization and gene transfection efficiencies in HEK293, HepG2 and C6 cell lines. The supramolecular polycations displayed low cytotoxicities, similar to those of the CD-cored carriers. After self-assemblies, the gene transfection efficiencies and antitumor abilities of the supramolecular carriers were significantly enhanced. The present study demonstrates that such supramolecular preparation of CD-based polycations could provide a flexible strategy for the design and development of new assemblies with high efficiency and low cytotoxicity.