Lipid-DNA complexes (lipoplexes) are widely used, since several years, as gene carriers. However, their transfection efficiency, both in vitro and in vivo, depends, in a rather complex way, on different interconnected parameters, ranging from the chemical composition of the lipid components to the size and size distribution of the complexes and, moreover, to the composition of the suspending medium. In this paper, we have investigated the behavior of nine different commercially available transfection agents (liposomal and non-liposomal) and their lipoplexes, at different molar charge ratios and in different experimental conditions. The size and the time stability of the resulting lipoplexes were investigated by means of dynamic light scattering methods and their toxicity and transfection efficiency were assayed in vitro in a model tumor cell line (C6 rat glioma cell line). An attempt to correlate the different parameters governing the complex phenomenology observed has been made. Whereas all the formulations investigated display a low toxicity, that increases with the increase of the lipid-DNA molar charge ratio, the transfection efficiency markedly depends, besides the molar charge ratio, on the lipid composition and on the lipoplex size, in a rather correlated way. The aim of this work is to present, in a wide scenario, an example of the inter-correlation among the different parameters that influence the transfection efficiency of lipoplexes and to suggest the role exerted by the average size of the resulting aggregates in their overall effectiveness as carriers in gene therapy.
- Cationic liposomes
- DNA lipoplexes
- Serum effect
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces and Interfaces