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News U29

Ethylcellulose nanoparticles as new “in vitro” tool for cell transfection

Researchers of NANBIOSIS U12 Nanostructured liquid characterization unit and U29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) of CIBER-BBN at IQAC-CSIC have obtained successfully ethylcellulose nanoparticles with positive zeta potential formed from nano-emulsion complexation with an antisense oligonucleotide which result very promising complexes for “in vitro” cell transfection.

A new non-viral gene delivery vector has been developed, based on ethylcellulose, an easily available and low cost carbohydrate polymer, “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA. Although ethylcellulose is nonionic, positively charged nanoparticle dispersions have been obtained using nano-emulsion templates in cationic:non-ionic surfactant-based systems. The nanoparticles have been successfully complexed with negatively charged phosphorothioate antisense oligonucleotides. These short nucleic acid chains are advantageous as they show improved cell penetration ability and higher resistance to degradation by nucleases. The nanoparticle:oligonucleotide complexes obtained show suitable transfection efficiency and are promising for “in vitro” gene transfection purposes.

This research has been developed through the close collaboration between the Colloidal and Interfacial Chemistry group led by Dr. Carlos Rodríguez Abreu, and the Nucleic Acids Chemistry group led by Dr. Ramon Eritja as well as the NANBIOSIS U12 and U29 Units. Both groups belong to the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC) and the CIBER-BBN.

Article of reference: Leitner, S.; Grijalvo, S.; Solans, C.; Eritja, R.; Garcia-Celma, M. J.; Caldero, G., Ethylcellulose nanoparticles as a new “in vitro” transfection tool for antisense oligonucleotide delivery CARBOHYDRATE POLYMERS 229,1, 115451, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2019.115451

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Cationic nioplexes in supramolecular hydrogels as hybrid materials to deliver nucleic acids

Jose Luis Pedraz, Scientific Director of Unit 10 of NANBIOSIS Drug Formulation unit and Ramon Eritja Scientific Director of Unit U29 of NANBIOSIS Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) (CIBER-BBN) have participated in the entrapment of cationic nioplexes in supramolecular hydrogels and the use of these materials for transfecting cells.

This work is focused on entrapping cationic nioplexes within supramolecular hydrogels based on N-protected phenylalanine. To modulate the supramolecular hydrogel diffusion properties, hydrogels were easily tuned with ĸ-carrageenan (≤ 1%). These materials were fully characterized using rheology. The niosomal liberation in solution through hydrogels was monitored by fluorescence and this release was controlled by diffusion mechanisms. The lack of toxicity of these materials allowed these materials to be used in cell culture. Preliminary transfection results confirmed the suitability of entrapping niosomal formulations in supramolecular hydrogels and the potential opening up of alternative strategies in therapy.

This study was published in RSC Advances:

S. Grijalvo, G. Puras, J. Zárate, R. Pons, J.L. Pedraz, R. Eritja, D. Díaz. “Nioplexes encapsulated in supramolecular hybrid biohydrogels as versatile delivery platforms for nucleic acids” 2016, 6, 39688-39699. DOI: 10.1039/C6RA01005A

Nanbiosis_U10_Cationic nioplexes in supramolecular hydrogels as hybrid materials to deliver nucleic acids
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