Transgene delivery using poly(amino ether)-gold nanorod assemblies

James Ramos, Kaushal Rege

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1336-1346
Number of pages11
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2012



  • Gold nanorods
  • Nanoassemblies
  • Nonviral gene delivery
  • Polyaminoethers
  • Theranostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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