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Mol Pharm. 2015 Aug 3;12(8):2889-903. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.5b00073. Epub 2015 Jul 6.

Biodegradable Film for the Targeted Delivery of siRNA-Loaded Nanoparticles to Vaginal Immune Cells.

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Laboratory for Drug Delivery and Biomaterials, College of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, 750 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, R3E 0T5.


The goal of this study was to develop and characterize a novel intravaginal film platform for targeted delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA)-loaded nanoparticles (NP) to dendritic cells as a potential gene therapy for the prevention of sexually transmitted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-functionalized poly(D, L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)/polyethylenimine (PEI)/siRNA NP (siRNA-NP) were fabricated using a modified emulsion-solvent evaporation method and characterized for particle size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency (EE), and siRNA release. siRNA-NP were decorated with anti-HLA-DR antibody (siRNA-NP-Ab) for targeting delivery to HLA-DR+ dendritic cells (DCs) and homogeneously dispersed in a biodegradable film consisting of poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) and λ-carrageenan. The siRNA-NP-Ab-loaded film (siRNA-NP-Ab-film) was transparent, displayed suitable physicomechanical properties, and was noncytotoxic. Targeting activity was evaluated in a mucosal coculture model consisting of a vaginal epithelial monolayer (VK2/E6E7 cells) and differentiated KG-1 cells (HLA-DR+ DCs). siRNA-NP-Ab were rapidly released from the film and were able to penetrate the epithelial layer to be taken up by differentiated KG-1 cells. siRNA-NP-Ab demonstrated higher targeting activity and significantly higher knockdown of synaptosome-associated 23-kDa protein (SNAP-23) mRNA and protein when compared to siRNA-NP without antibody conjugation. Overall, these data suggest that our novel siRNA-NP-Ab-film may be a promising platform for preventing HIV infection within the female genital tract.


SNAP-23; intravaginal delivery; microbicides; mucosal coculture model; polymeric film

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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