Intracellular responsive dual delivery by endosomolytic polyplexes carrying DNA anchored porous silicon nanoparticles

Mohammad Ali Shahbazi*, Patrick Vingadas Almeida, Alexandra Correia, Barbara Herranz-Blanco, Neha Shrestha, Ermei Mäkilä, Jarno Salonen, Jouni Hirvonen, Hélder A. Santos

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Bioresponsive cytosolic nanobased multidelivery has been emerging as an enormously challenging novel concept due to the intrinsic protective barriers of the cells and hardly controllable performances of nanomaterials. Here, we present a new paradigm to advance nano-in-nano integration technology amenable to create multifunctional nanovehicles showing considerable promise to overcome restrictions of intracellular delivery, solve impediments of endosomal localization and aid effectual tracking of nanoparticles. A redox responsive intercalator chemistry comprised of cystine and 9-aminoacridine is designed as a cross-linker to cap carboxylated porous silicon nanoparticles with DNA. These intelligent nanocarriers are then encapsulated within novel one-pot electrostatically complexed nano-networks made of a zwitterionic amino acid (cysteine), an anionic bioadhesive polymer (poly(methyl vinyl ether-alt-maleic acid)) and a cationic endosomolytic polymer (polyethyleneimine). This combined nanocomposite is successfully tested for the co-delivery of hydrophobic (sorafenib) or hydrophilic (calcein) molecules loaded within the porous core, and an imaging agent covalently integrated into the polyplex shell by click chemistry. High loading capacity, low cyto- and hemo-toxicity, glutathione responsive on-command drug release, and superior cytosolic delivery are shown as achievable key features of the proposed formulation. Overall, formulating drug molecules, DNA and imaging agents, without any interference, in a physico-chemically optimized carrier may open a path towards broad applicability of these cost-effective multivalent nanocomposites for treating different diseases.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Controlled Release
    Pages (from-to)111-122
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2017


    • Bioresponsive
    • Click chemistry
    • Combination therapy
    • Combined delivery
    • Endosomal escape
    • Nanocomplexes

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