Polyamidoamine dendrimer-functionalized carbon nanotubes-mediated GFP gene transfection for HeLa cells: effects of different types of carbon nanotubes.

Research paper by Keqin K Yang, Weiling W Qin, Hao H Tang, Liang L Tan, Qingji Q Xie, Ming M Ma, Youyu Y Zhang, Shouzhuo S Yao

Indexed on: 07 Oct '11Published on: 07 Oct '11Published in: Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A


Three types of functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs), polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer-functionalized single and multi-walled CNTs (MWCNT-PAMAM-1, MWCNT-PAMAM-2, and SWCNT-PAMAM-3), were prepared by covalent linkage approach. The micro-morphologies of the three f-CNTs and the interaction of MWCNT-PAMAM-2 with HeLa cells were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The free amine groups on the surface of the three types of CNTs-PAMAM hybrids were quantitatively analyzed. Their cytotoxicity and transfection efficiency of plasmid DNA of enhanced green fluorescent protein (pEGFP-N1) to HeLa cells were investigated in detail. The results suggest that although all three types of CNTs-PAMAM hybrids can deliver pEGFP-N1 into HeLa cells and the exogenous GFP gene has been successfully expressed, MWCNT-PAMAM-2 with shorter length and larger amount of free amine groups on its surface possesses higher transfection efficiency (6.79%), being about 3.0 and 1.7 times as large as those of MWCNT-PAMAM-1 (2.24%) and SWCNT-PAMAM-3 (4.08%), respectively; their cytotoxicity to HeLa cells decrease following the sequence of SWCNT-PAMAM-3 > MWCNT-PAMAM-2 > MWCNT-PAMAM-1. These results may be useful for understanding the effects of the chemical/physical properties of f-CNTs on their gene transfection efficiency and cytotoxicity, allowing for construction of promising CNT-based intracellular delivery vectors for gene therapy.