Colloidally Stable Small Unilamellar Stearyl Amine Lipoplexes for Effective BMP-9 Gene Delivery to Stem Cells for Osteogenic Differentiation


The biocompatibility of cationic liposomes has led to their clinical translation in gene delivery and their application apart from cancer to cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, metabolic diseases, and more. We have prepared PEGylated stearyl amine (pegSA) lipoplexes meticulously considering the physicochemical properties and formulation parameters to prepare single unilamellar vesicles (SUV) of < 100 nm size which retain their SUV nature upon complexation with pDNA rather than the conventional lipoplexes which show multilamellar nature. The developed PEGylated SA lipoplexes (pegSA lipoplexes) showed a lower N/P ratio (1.5) for BMP-9 gene complexation while maintaining the SUV character with a unique shape (square and triangular lipoplexes). Colloidal and pDNA complexation stability in the presence of electrolytes and serum indicates the suitability for intravenous administration for delivery of lipoplexes to bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells through sinusoidal vessels in bone marrow. Moreover, lower charge density of lipoplexes and low oxidative stress led to lower toxicity of lipoplexes to the C2C12 cells, NIH 3T3 cells, and erythrocytes. Transfection studies showed efficient gene delivery to C2C12 cells inducing osteogenic differentiation through BMP-9 expression as shown by enhanced calcium deposition in vitro, proving the potential of lipoplexes for bone regeneration. In vivo acute toxicity studies further demonstrated safety of the developed lipoplexes. Developed pegSA lipoplexes show potential for further in vivo preclinical evaluation to establish the proof of concept.

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The authors are thankful to the University Grants Commission, Government of India for financial assistance. The authors also thank Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Central Facility, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, for experimental support in cell line studies. The authors acknowledge the support of Dr. Sachin Naik and Dr. Subhas Bhowmick (Sun Pharma Advance Research Center Ltd., Vadodara) for cryoTEM studies.

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Correspondence to Ambikanandan Misra.

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Guest Editors: Mahavir Bhupal Chougule, Vijaykumar B. Sutariya and Sudip K. Das

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Vhora, I., Lalani, R., Bhatt, P. et al. Colloidally Stable Small Unilamellar Stearyl Amine Lipoplexes for Effective BMP-9 Gene Delivery to Stem Cells for Osteogenic Differentiation. AAPS PharmSciTech 19, 3550–3560 (2018).

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  • lipoplexes
  • liposomes
  • micelle
  • gene delivery
  • cationic lipids
  • PEGylation