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J Control Release. 2002 Apr 23;80(1-3):333-43.

Controlled release of plasmid DNA from cationized gelatin hydrogels based on hydrogel degradation.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 4-20-1 Nasahara, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1041, Japan.


This paper shows achievement of the in vivo controlled release of a plasmid DNA from a biodegradable hydrogel and the consequent regulation of gene expression period. Cationization of gelatin was preformed through introduction of ethylenediamine and the gelatin prepared was crosslinked by various concentrations of glutaraldehyde to obtain cationized gelatin (CG) hydrogels as the carrier of plasmid DNA. In vivo release of plasmid DNA from the CG hydrogels was compared with the in vivo degradation of hydrogels. When CG hydrogels incorporating 125I-labeled plasmid DNA were implanted into the femoral muscle of mice, the plasmid DNA radioactivity remaining decreased with time and the retention period prolonged with a decrease in the water content of hydrogels used. The higher the water content of 125I-labeled CG hydrogels, the faster the hydrogel radioactivity remaining decreased with time. The time profile of plasmid DNA remaining in the hydrogels was in good accordance with that of hydrogel radioactivity, irrespective of the water content. Intramuscular implantation of plasmid DNA-incorporated CG hydrogels enhanced significantly expression of the plasmid DNA around the implanted site. The retention period of gene expression became longer as the hydrogel water content decreased. Fluorescent microscopic study revealed that the plasmid DNA-CG complex was detected around the hydrogel implanted even after 7-day implantation in marked contrast to the injection of plasmid DNA solution. It was concluded that in our hydrogel system, active plasmid DNA was released accompanied with the in vivo degradation of hydrogel, resulting in extended gene expression. The time profile of plasmid DNA release and the consequent gene expression was controllable by changing the water content of hydrogels.

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