Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Surya K. Mallapragada
The poly(diethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDEAEM) - Pluronic F127 - PDEAEM pentablock copolymer (PB) gene delivery vector system has been found to possess an inherent selectivity in transfecting cancer cells over non-cancer cells in vitro, without attaching any targeting ligands. In order to understand the mechanism of this selective transfection, three possible intracellular barriers to transfection were investigated in both cancer and non-cancer cells. We concluded that escape from the endocytic pathway served as the primary intracellular barrier for PB-mediated transfection. Most likely, PB vectors were entrapped and rendered non-functional in acidic lysosomes of non-cancer cells, but survived in less acidic lysosomes of cancer cells. The work highlights the importance of identifying intracellular barriers for different gene delivery systems and provides a new paradigm for designing targeting vectors based on intracellular differences between cell types, rather than through the use of targeting ligands.
The PB vector was further developed to simultaneously deliver anticancer drugs and genes, which showed a synergistic effect demonstrated by significantly enhanced gene expression in vitro. Due to the thermosensitive gelation behavior, the PB vector packaging both drug and gene was also investigated for its in vitro sustained release properties by using polyethylene glycol diacrylate as a barrier gel to mimic the tumor matrix in vivo. Overall, this work resulted in the development of a gene delivery vector for sustained and selective gene delivery to tumor cells for cacner therapy.
Zhang, Bingqi, "Self-assembled pentablock copolymers for selective and sustained gene delivery" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 11204.