ABSTRACT Reducible or imidazolyl polycations of block poly(imidazole/2-dimethyl aminoethyl) are of promising in gene delivery. Dimeric poly(2-dimethyl aminoethyl) methacrylate-block-polyvinylimidazole (rDPDMAEMAIM) and reducible poly (2-dimethylaminoethyl) methacrylate (rDPDMAEMA) with single disulfide bond in the backbone was synthesized by oxidizing their dithioester-terminated polymers. The polyplexes sizes, rDPDMAEMAIM/pDNA and rDPDMAEMA/ pDNA (plasmid DNA) are in the ranges of 100 nm - 150 nm at the weight ratio of 12:1, and the zeta potential of rDPDMAEMAIM/pDNA from 9.6 mV to 22.7 mV in PBS solutions increases with their weight ratios of 1:1 to 18:1. The results show that the rDPDMAEMAIM/pDNA polyplexes have higher transfection activity and lower cytotoxicity than that of rDPDMAEMAIM/pDNA against 293T cells in vitro in the presence of serum, indicating that the PDMAEMAIM present a promising nonviral gene vector.
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