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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 Aug 27;6(16):14391-8. doi: 10.1021/am5036626. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

Stimulation of gene transfection by silicon nanowire arrays modified with polyethylenimine.

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The Key Lab of Health Chemistry and Molecular Diagnosis of Suzhou, Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University , Suzhou 215123, P. R. China.


In this work, a novel gene delivery strategy was proposed based on silicon nanowire arrays modified with high-molecular-weight 25 kDa branched polyethylenimine (SN-PEI). Both the plasmid DNA (pDNA) binding capacity and the in vitro gene transfection efficiency of silicon nanowire arrays (SiNWAs) were significantly enhanced after modification with high-molecular-weight bPEI. Moreover, the transfection efficiency was substantially further increased by the introduction of free pDNA/PEI complexes formed by low-molecular-weight branched PEI (bPEI, 2 kDa). Additionally, factors affecting the in vitro transfection efficiency of the novel gene delivery system were investigated in detail, and the transfection efficiency was optimized on SN-PEI with a bPEI grafting time of 3 h, an incubation time of 10 min for tethered pDNA/PEI complexes consisting of high-molecular-weight bPEI grafted onto SiNWAs, and with an N/P ratio of 80 for free pDNA/PEI complexes made of low-molecular-weight bPEI. Together, our results indicate that high-molecular-weight bPEI modified SiNWAs can serve as an efficient platform for gene delivery.

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