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Biomacromolecules. 2007 Sep;8(9):2829-35. Epub 2007 Jul 31.

Ruthenium(II) tris(bipyridine)-centered poly(ethylenimine) for gene delivery.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, McCormick Road, P.O. Box 400319, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904, USA.


Ruthenium(II) tris(bipyridine)-centered poly(ethylenimine) (Ru PEI) was synthesized via acid hydrolysis of Ru tris(bipyridine)-centered poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline) (Ru PEOX), and the luminescence, DNA entrapment, and transfection efficiencies were evaluated. Emission maxima for Ru PEI samples are red-shifted compared to Ru PEOX precursors, and the luminescence lifetimes are shorter in both methanol and aqueous solutions. Slower oxygen quenching of Ru PEOX and Ru PEI luminescence versus [Ru(bpy)3]Cl2 (bpy = bipyridine) is attributed to polymer shielding effects. Ru PEI luminescence is similar in the presence and absence of DNA. Ru PEI (7900 Da) and linear PEI (L-PEI; 22,000 Da) fully entrapped DNA (5.4 kb; pcDNA) at an N/P ratio of 2. LNCaP prostate cancer cells were transfected with a plasmid encoding for green fluorescent protein using Ru PEI and L-PEI vectors for comparison. For N/P = 48, the transfection efficiency for Ru PEI was approximately 50% relative to that of L-PEI.

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