Hyperbranched Polyamines for Transfection

  • Wiebke Fischer
  • Marcelo Calderón
  • Rainer HaagEmail author
Part of the Topics in Current Chemistry book series (TOPCURRCHEM, volume 296)


The successful application of gene therapy through DNA transfection into the cell is still a great challenge in ongoing research. Hyperbranched polyamines are highly branched macromolecules, and have gained significant attention in the last two decades, due to their relative ease of preparation, their shape, and their multi-functionality.

This review deals with the syntheses of various hyperbranched polyamines that are prepared through a one-step polymerization process. Furthermore, we present the current status of polyamines as gene carriers and describe their versatility, and their properties such as structure-property dependency, gene transfection efficiency, and cytotoxicity profiles of hyperbranched polyamines.


Applications Cytotoxicity profile Gene delivery Hyperbranched polyamines Poly(amido amine) Poly(amido ester) Poly(ethylene imine) Polyglycerol amines Structure-property dependence Synthesis Transfection efficiency 

List of Abbreviations


Cell line




Cell line (carcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial cell)


1-(2-Aminoethyl) piperazine


Atomic force microscope


Aluminum chloride




Enzyme which catalyzes the degradation of adenosine triphosphate


Cell line (murine melanoma cell)


1,4-Butanediol diacrylate


2,2-Bis-(methylol)propionic acid


Poly(ethyleneimine)-graft-poly(ethyleneglycol) copolymers


Cell line (mouse myoblast cell)


Rat glioma cell line


N,N′-Cystamine bisacrylamide


Benzyl carbamate


Cell line (cell division control protein 2)




Cell line (Chinese hamster ovary-K1)


Cell line (African green monkey)


Dendritic unit




Degree of branching








Deoxyribonucleic acid


Dendritic polyglycerols




Ethylene glycol diacrylate


Ethylene imine


Folic acid






Reduced glutathione






1,6-Hexanediol diacrylate


N-(2-Hydroxyethyl) ethylene imine

HEK 293

Cell line (human embryonic kidney 293 cells)


Cell line (Henrietta Lacks, immortal cell line)


Cell line (human hepatocellular carcinoma)


N,N′-Hexamethylene bisacrylamide


High molecular weight


Hyperbranched PAMAM


Hyperbranched polymer


Inhibitory concentration


Kilo Dalton


Linear unit


Lithium aluminum hydride


Low molecular weight


Methyl acrylate


Cell line (mitogen-activated kinase 2)


Cell line (breast cancer cells)






Number average molecular weight


3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide


Molecular weight


Molecular weight distribution (Mw/Mn)

N/P ratio

Ratio of nitrogen versus phosphate


Cell line (Mouse neuroblastoma cells)


Cell line (House embryonic fibroblast)


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Hydroxyl groups


Poly(amido amine)






Poly(ethylene glycol)


Plasmid (encodes a red-shifted variant of wild-type GFP)


PEGylated poly(ethylene imine)


Poly(ethylene imine)




Luciferase reporter vector


Polyglycerol pentaethylenhexamine carbamate


PG functionalized with quaternary amines


PG functionalized with tertiary amines




Poly(propyl imine)


Reducible hyperbranched polymer


Ribonucleic acid


Ring opening polymerization


Severe combined immunodeficiency


Size exclusion chromatography

SIM MC 7721

Cell line (human normal hep-atocyte cells)


Small interfering RNA


Terminal unit


Transmission electron microscopy




Trimethylol-propane triacrylate


Cell proliferation kit


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wiebke Fischer
    • 1
  • Marcelo Calderón
    • 1
  • Rainer Haag
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Chemistry and BiochemistryFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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