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Biomacromolecules. 2005 Nov-Dec;6(6):3166-73.

Evaluation of hyperbranched poly(amino ester)s of amine constitutions similar to polyethylenimine for DNA delivery.

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  • 1Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602.


New hyperbranched poly(amino ester)s were synthesized via A3 + 2BB'B' ' approach, represented by the Michael addition polymerization of trimethylol-propane triacrylate (TMPTA) (A3-type monomers) with a double molar 1-(2-aminoethyl)piperazine (AEPZ) (BB'B''-type monomer) performed in chloroform at ambient temperature. The results obtained by in situ monitoring the polymerization using NMR and MS indicated that hyperbranched poly(TMPTA1-AEPZ2) was formed via a A(B'B'')2 intermediate, and the B' ' (the formed 2 degrees amine) was kept intact in the reaction. Therefore, poly(TMPTA1-AEPZ2) contained secondary and tertiary amines in the core and primary amines in the periphery similar to polyethylenimine (PEI). The chemistry of protonated poly(TMPTA1-AEPZ2) was further confirmed by 13C NMR, and the molecular weight, the radius of gyration (Rg), and the hydrodynamic radius (Rh) were determined using GPC, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and laser dynamic light scattering (LDLS), respectively. The ratio of Rg/Rh of ca. 1.1 verified the hyperbranched structure. Protonated hyperbranched poly(TMPTA1-AEPZ2) is degradable and less cytotoxic as compared with PEI (25 K). Gel electrophoresis reflected that stable complexes could be formed from protonated hyperbranched poly(TMPTA1-AEPZ2) and DNA, and the size and xi-potential of the complexes were characterized. Remarkably, protonated hyperbranched poly(TMPTA1-AEPZ2) showed transfection efficiency comparable to PEI (25 k) for in vitro DNA delivery.

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