Biodegradable DNA Nanoparticles that Provide Widespread Gene Delivery in the Brain

Panagiotis Mastorakos, Eric Song, Clark Zhang, Sneha Berry, Hee Won Park, Young Eun Kim, Jong Sung Park, Seulki Lee, Jung Soo Suk, Justin Hanes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Successful gene therapy of neurological disorders is predicated on achieving widespread and uniform transgene expression throughout the affected disease area in the brain. However, conventional gene vectors preferentially travel through low-resistance perivascular spaces and/or are confined to the administration site even with the aid of a pressure-driven flow provided by convection-enhanced delivery. Biodegradable DNA nanoparticles offer a safe gene delivery platform devoid of adverse effects associated with virus-based or synthetic nonbiodegradable systems. Using a state-of-the-art biodegradable polymer, poly(β-amino ester), colloidally stable sub-100 nm DNA nanoparticles are engineered with a nonadhesive polyethylene glycol corona that are able to avoid the adhesive and steric hindrances imposed by the extracellular matrix. Following convection enhanced delivery, these brain-penetrating nanoparticles are able to homogeneously distribute throughout the rodent striatum and mediate widespread and high-level transgene expression. These nanoparticles provide a biodegradable DNA nanoparticle platform enabling uniform transgene expression patterns in vivo and hold promise for the treatment of neurological diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-685
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 3 2016


  • brain gene therapy
  • convection-enhanced delivery
  • extracellular matrices
  • nonviral gene delivery
  • poly(β-amino esters)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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