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Open Access Nano Express

Functionalized halloysite nanotube-based carrier for intracellular delivery of antisense oligonucleotides

Yin-Feng Shi, Zhong Tian, Yang Zhang, He-Bai Shen and Neng-Qin Jia*

Author Affiliations

The Education Ministry Key Laboratory of Resource Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Shanghai Normal University, 100 Guilin Road, Shanghai, 200234, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:608  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-608

Published: 28 November 2011

Abstract

Halloysites are cheap, abundantly available, and natural with high mechanical strength and biocompatibility. In this paper, a novel halloysite nanotube [HNT]-based gene delivery system was explored for loading and intracellular delivery of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides [ASODNs], in which functionalized HNTs [f-HNTs] were used as carriers and ASODNs as a therapeutic gene for targeting survivin. HNTs were firstly surface-modified with γ-aminopropyltriethoxysilane in order to facilitate further biofunctionalization. The f-HNTs and the assembled f-HNT-ASODN complexes were characterized by transmission electron microscopy [TEM], dynamic light scattering, UV-visible spectroscopy, and fluorescence spectrophotometry. The intracellular uptake and delivery efficiency of the complexes were effectively investigated by TEM, confocal microscopy, and flow cytometry. In vitro cytotoxicity studies of the complexes using MTT assay exhibited a significant enhancement in the cytotoxic capability. The results exhibited that f-HNT complexes could efficiently improve intracellular delivery and enhance antitumor activity of ASODNs by the nanotube carrier and could be used as novel promising vectors for gene therapy applications, which is attributed to their advantages over structures and features including a unique tubular structure, large aspect ratio, natural availability, rich functionality, good biocompatibility, and high mechanical strength.

Keywords:
halloysite nanotubes; ASODNs; cellular delivery; cytotoxicity; carrier.