Chitosan/siRNA nanoparticles encapsulated in PLGA nanofibers for siRNA delivery

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Composite nanofibers of biodegradable poly(d,l-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) encapsulating chitosan/siRNA nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared by electrospinning. Acidic/alkaline hydrolysis and a bulk/surface degradation mechanism were investigated in order to achieve an optimized release profile for prolonged and efficient gene silencing. Thermo-controlled AFM in situ imaging not only revealed the integrity of the encapsulated chitosan/siRNA polyplex but also shed light on the decreasing Tg of PLGA on the fiber surfaces during release. A triphasic release profile based on bulk erosion was obtained at pH 7.4, while a triphasic release profile involving both surface erosion and bulk erosion was obtained at pH 5.5. A short alkaline pretreatment provided a homogeneous hydrolysis and consequently a nearly zero-order release profile. The interesting release profile was further investigated for siRNA transfection, where the encapsulated chitosan/siRNA NPs exhibited up to 50% EGFP gene silencing activity after 48 h post-transfection on H1299 cells.
Original languageEnglish
JournalA C S Nano
Pages (from-to)4835-4844
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2012


  • nanofibers
  • chitosan
  • siRNA
  • electrospinning
  • release
  • gene silencing


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