Label-free dendrimer-like silica nanohybrids for traceable and controlled gene delivery

Xin Du, Bingyang Shi, Youhong Tang, Sheng Dai*, Shi Zhang Qiao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


To create advanced functional nanocarriers for achieving excellent gene delivery performance, fluorescence label-free hybridized dendrimer-like silica nanocarriers (HPSNs-AC-PEI) were developed by using the endosomal pH and cytoplasmic glutathione (GSH) responsive autofluorescent acetaldehyde-modified-cystine (AC) to link non-toxic low molecular weight branched polyethyleneimine (PEI) onto amino-functionalized dendrimer-like silica nanoparticles with hierarchical pores (HPSNs-NH2). The specific microstructure of this hybridized nanocarrier makes it not only show low cytotoxicity and high gene loading capability, but also display high gene transfection efficiency. The cleavage of disulfide bonds caused by GSH facilitates plasmid DNA (pDNA) release. Moreover, the pH and GSH controlled gene delivery profile can be real-time tracked using the autofluorescence of HPSNs-AC-PEI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5580-5590
Number of pages11
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Dendrimer-like
  • Fluorescence
  • Gene delivery
  • GSH
  • Mesoporous silica
  • Responsive


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