Tailored Design of Au Nanoparticle-siRNA Carriers Utilizing Reversible Addition - Fragmentation Chain Transfer Polymers
The facile synthesis of polymer-stabilized Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) capable of forming neutral, sterically stable complexes with small interfering RNA (siRNA) is reported. The amine-containing cationic block of poly(N-2-hydroxypropyl methacrylamide(70)-Nock-N-[3-(dimethylamino)propyl] methacrylamide(24)) [P(HPMA(70)-b-DMAPMA(24))] was utilized to promote the in situ reduction of Au(3+) to AuNPs and subsequently bind small interfering RNA, while the nonimmunogenic, hydrophilic block provided steric stabilization. The ratio of [DMAPMA](0)/[Au(3+)](0) utilized in the reduction reaction was found to be critical to the production of polymer-stabilized AuNPs capable of complexing siRNA. Significant protection (similar to 100 times) against nucleases was demonstrated by enzymatic tests, while gene down-regulation experiments indicated successful delivery of siRNA to cancerous cells.