Transgene delivery using poly(amino ether)-gold nanorod assemblies

James Ramos, Kaushal Rege

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Gold nanorods (GNRs) have emerged as promising nanomaterials for biosensing, imaging, photothermal treatment, and therapeutic delivery for several diseases, including cancer. We have generated poly(amino ether)-functionalized gold nanorods (PAE-GNRs) using a layer-by-layer deposition approach; polymers from a poly(amino ether) library recently synthesized in our laboratory were employed to generate the PAE-GNR assemblies. PAE-GNR assemblies demonstrate long-term colloidal stability as well as the capacity to bind plasmid DNA by means of electrostatic interactions. Sub-toxic concentrations of PAE-GNRs were employed to deliver plasmid DNA to prostate cancer cells in vitro. PAE-GNRs generated using 1,4C-1,4Bis, a cationic polymer from our laboratory demonstrated significantly higher transgene expression and exhibited lower cytotoxicities when compared to similar assemblies generated using 25kDa poly(ethylene imine) (PEI25k-GNRs), a current standard for polymer-mediated gene delivery. The roles of polyelectrolyte chemistry and zeta-potential in determining transgene expression efficacies of PAE-GNR assemblies were investigated. Our results indicate that stable and effective PAE-GNR assemblies are a promising engineered platform for transgene delivery. PAE-GNRs also have the potential to be used simultaneously for photothermal ablation, photothermally enhanced drug and gene delivery, and biological imaging, thus making them a powerful theranostic platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1336-1346
Number of pages11
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Gold nanorods
  • Nanoassemblies
  • Nonviral gene delivery
  • Polyaminoethers
  • Theranostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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