Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biomaterials. 2013 Jan;34(1):294-305. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.09.060. Epub 2012 Oct 13.

Effects of the gene carrier polyethyleneimines on structure and function of blood components.

Author information

  • 1Key Laboratory of Biomaterials of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China.


As a synthetic polycation, polyethylenimine (PEI) is currently one of the most effective non-viral gene carriers. For in vivo applications, PEI will enter systemic circulation and interact with various blood components and then affect their individual bio-functions. Up to now, overall and systematic investigation on the interaction of PEI with multiple blood components at cellular, membrane, and molecular levels is lacking, even though it is critically important for the in vivo safety of PEI. To learn a structure-activity relationship, we investigated the effects of PEI with different molecular weight (MW) and shape (branched or linear) on key blood components and function, specifically, on RBC aggregation and morphological change, platelet activation, conformation change of albumin (as a representative of plasma proteins), and blood coagulation process. Additionally, more proteins from plasma were screened and identified to have associations with PEI by a proteomic analysis. It was found that, the PEIs have severe impact on RBC membrane structure, albumin conformation, and blood coagulation process, but do not significantly activate platelets at low concentrations. Furthermore, 41 plasma proteins were identified to have some interaction with PEI. This indicates that, besides albumin, PEI does interact with a variety of blood plasma proteins, and could have unexplored effects on their structures and bio-functions. The results provide good insight into the molecular design and blood safety of PEI and other polycations for in vivo applications.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk