A family of bioreducible poly(disulfide amine)s for gene delivery

Mei Ou, Rongzuo Xu, Sun Hwa Kim, David A. Bull, Sung Wan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


A family of bioreducible poly(disulfide amine)s, which differ in the length of polymethylene spacer [-(CH2)n-] in the main chain and the side chain, has been synthesized. These bioreducible poly(disulfide amine)s exhibit local environment specific degradability and are associated with lower cytotoxicity than branched poly(ethylenimine) (bPEI, 25 kDa). These cationic polymers also show higher buffering capacity and protonation degree than bPEI, facilitating the endosomal escape of carried genetic materials. The transfection efficiency of these agents is oligomethylene length dependent. Poly(cystaminebisacrylamide-spermine) [poly(CBA-SP)], poly(cystaminebisacrylamide-bis(3-aminopropyl)-1,3-propanediamine) [poly(CBA-APPD)], and poly(cyxtaminebisacrylamide-bis(3-aminopropyl)-ethylenediamine) [ploy(CBA-APED)] with longer propylene [-(CH2)3-] side spacer, demonstrate higher transfection efficacy than the counterpart poly(cystaminebisacrylamide-bis(2-aminoethyl)-1,3-propanediamine) [poly(CBA-AEPD)] and poly(cystaminebisacrylamide-triethylenetetramine) [poly(CBA-TETA)], which have shorter ethylene [-(CH2)2-] side spacer. The poly(CBA-SP), poly(CBA-APPD), poly(CBA-APED) with the main chain spacer of -(CH2)4-, -(CH2)3-, -(CH2)2- demonstrate similar transfection efficiency, indicating the length of polymer main chain spacer has less influence on transfection efficiency. However, with the same short ethylene [-(CH2)2-] side spacer, poly(CBA-AEPD), with the longer main chain oligomethylene units [-(CH2)3-], showed relatively higher transfection efficiency than poly(CBA-TETA), having shorter main chain oligomethylene units [-(CH2)2-]. Of these polymeric carriers, poly(CBA-SP) demonstrated the highest transfection in the C2C12 cell line, while poly(CBA-APED) showed the highest transfection in the HeLa cell line. All of these agents showed greater transfection activity than commercialized bPEI 25 kDa. The poly(disulfide amine)s are promising safe and efficient non-viral vectors for gene delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5804-5814
Number of pages11
Issue number29
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradable
  • Gene delivery
  • Gene transfection
  • Poly(disulfide amine)s

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


Dive into the research topics of 'A family of bioreducible poly(disulfide amine)s for gene delivery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this