Gene-Activated Matrix with Self-Assembly Anionic Nano-Device Containing Plasmid DNAs for Rat Cranial Bone Augmentation


We have developed nanoballs, a biocompatible self-assembly nano-vector based on electrostatic interactions that arrange anionic macromolecules to polymeric nanomaterials to create nucleic acid carriers. Nanoballs exhibit low cytotoxicity and high transfection efficiently in vivo. This study investigated whether a gene-activated matrix (GAM) composed of nanoballs containing plasmid (p) DNAs encoding bone morphogenetic protein 4 (pBMP4) could promote bone augmentation with a small amount of DNA compared to that composed of naked pDNAs. We prepared nanoballs (BMP4-nanoballs) constructed with pBMP4 and dendrigraft poly-L-lysine (DGL, a cationic polymer) coated by γ-polyglutamic acid (γ-PGA; an anionic polymer), and determined their biological functions in vitro and in vivo. Next, GAMs were manufactured by mixing nanoballs with 2% atelocollagen and β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) granules and lyophilizing them for bone augmentation. The GAMs were then transplanted to rat cranial bone surfaces under the periosteum. From the initial stage, infiltrated macrophages and mesenchymal progenitor cells took up the nanoballs, and their anti-inflammatory and osteoblastic differentiations were promoted over time. Subsequently, bone augmentation was clearly recognized for up to 8 weeks in transplanted GAMs containing BMP4-nanoballs. Notably, only 1 μg of BMP4-nanoballs induced a sufficient volume of new bone, while 1000 μg of naked pDNAs were required to induce the same level of bone augmentation. These data suggest that applying this anionic vector to the appropriate matrices can facilitate GAM-based bone engineering.

Materials, 14(22), art. no. 7097; 2021


  • Materials

    Materials 14 (22), 7097-, 2021-11-22



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