Gold nanorods (GNRs) have emerged as promising nanomaterials for biosensing, imaging, photothermal treatment, and therapeutic delivery for several diseases, including cancer. We have generated poly(amino ether)-functionalized gold nanorods (PAE-GNRs) using a layer-by-layer deposition approach; polymers from a poly(amino ether) library recently synthesized in our laboratory were employed to generate the PAE-GNR assemblies. PAE-GNR assemblies demonstrate long-term colloidal stability as well as the capacity to bind plasmid DNA by means of electrostatic interactions. Sub-toxic concentrations of PAE-GNRs were employed to deliver plasmid DNA to prostate cancer cells in vitro. PAE-GNRs generated using 1,4C-1,4Bis, a cationic polymer from our laboratory demonstrated significantly higher transgene expression and exhibited lower cytotoxicities when compared to similar assemblies generated using 25kDa poly(ethylene imine) (PEI25k-GNRs), a current standard for polymer-mediated gene delivery. The roles of polyelectrolyte chemistry and zeta-potential in determining transgene expression efficacies of PAE-GNR assemblies were investigated. Our results indicate that stable and effective PAE-GNR assemblies are a promising engineered platform for transgene delivery. PAE-GNRs also have the potential to be used simultaneously for photothermal ablation, photothermally enhanced drug and gene delivery, and biological imaging, thus making them a powerful theranostic platform.
- Gold nanorods
- Nonviral gene delivery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology