Indexed on: 10 Sep '13Published on: 10 Sep '13Published in: PloS one
Topical gene delivery to the epidermis has the potential to be an effective therapy for skin disorders, cutaneous cancers, vaccinations and systemic metabolic diseases. Previously, we reported on a non-invasive multielectrode array (MEA) that efficiently delivered plasmid DNA and enhanced expression to the skin of several animal models by in vivo gene electrotransfer. Here, we characterized plasmid DNA delivery with the MEA in a hairless guinea pig model, which has a similar histology and structure to human skin. Significant elevation of gene expression up to 4 logs was achieved with intradermal DNA administration followed by topical non-invasive skin gene electrotransfer. This delivery produced gene expression in the skin of hairless guinea pig up to 12 to 15 days. Gene expression was observed exclusively in the epidermis. Skin gene electrotransfer with the MEA resulted in only minimal and mild skin changes. A low level of human Factor IX was detected in the plasma of hairless guinea pig after gene electrotransfer with the MEA, although a significant increase of Factor IX was obtained in the skin of animals. These results suggest gene electrotransfer with the MEA can be a safe, efficient, non-invasive skin delivery method for skin disorders, vaccinations and potential systemic diseases where low levels of gene products are sufficient.