Table of Contents
ISRN Pharmaceutics
Volume 2012, Article ID 369270, 9 pages
Research Article

Efficient Nonviral Gene Therapy Using Folate-Targeted Chitosan-DNA Nanoparticles In Vitro

1Orthopaedics Research Laboratory, Research Center, Sacré-Coeur Hospital, University of Montreal, 5400 West Gouin Boulevard, Montreal, QC, Canada H4J 1C5
2Faculty of Pharmacy and Department of Physical Chemistry and Polymer Science, University of Montreal, Pavillon J.A. Bombardier, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montreal, QC, H3C 3J7 , Canada
3Orthopaedic Cellular and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Institute of Health Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 225 South Chongqing Road, Shanghai 200025, China

Received 15 November 2011; Accepted 12 December 2011

Academic Editors: F.-R. Chang and J. Lee

Copyright © 2012 Christian Jreyssaty et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nonviral cationic polymers like chitosan can be combined with DNA to protect it from degradation. The chitosan is a biocompatible, biodegradable, nontoxic, and cheap polycationic polymer with low immunogenicity. The objective of this study was to synthesize and then assess different chitosan-DNA nanoparticles and to select the best ones for selective in vitro transfection in human epidermoid carcinoma (KB) cell lines. It revealed that different combinations of molecular weight, the presence or absence of folic acid ligand, and different plasmid DNA sizes can lead to nanoparticles with various diameters and diverse transfection efficiencies. The intracellular trafficking, nuclear uptake, and localization are also studied by confocal microscopy, which confirmed that DNA was delivered to cell nuclei to be expressed.