Characterization of modified mesoporous silica nanoparticles as vectors for siRNA delivery

Anna Slita, A Egorova, Eudald Casals Mercadal, A Kiselev, Jessica Rosenholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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Gene therapy using siRNA molecules is nowadays considered as a promising approach. For successful therapy, development of a stable and reliable vector for siRNA is crucial. Non-viral and non-organic vectors like mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) are associated with lack of most viral vector drawbacks, such as toxicity, immunogenicity, but also generally a low nucleic acid carrying capacity. To overcome this hurdle, we here modified the pore walls of MSNs with surface-hyperbranching polymerized poly(ethyleneimine) (hbPEI), which provides an abundance of amino-groups for loading of a larger amount of siRNA molecules via electrostatic adsorption. After loading, the particles were covered with a second layer of pre-polymerized PEI to provide better protection of siRNA inside the pores, more effective cellular uptake and endosomal escape. To test the transfection efficiency of PEI covered siRNA/MSNs, MDA-MB 231 breast cancer cells stably expressing GFP were used. We demonstrate that PEI-coated siRNA/MSN complexes provide more effective delivery of siRNAs compared to unmodified MSNs. Thus, it can be concluded that appropriately surface-modified MSNs can be considered as prospective vectors for therapeutic siRNA delivery.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)592–599
JournalAsian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • mesoporous silica nanoparticles
  • drug delivery
  • Nanoparticles
  • siRNA
  • Gene technology
  • drug-delivery systems

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