Biomineralized composite substrates increase gene expression with nonviral delivery

Rameshwar R. Rao, Jiawei He, Jonathan K Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Current strategies to enhance gene transfer have focused on the development of vectors to increase the efficiency of DNA delivery. However, the extracellular matrix and microenvironment have a profound impact on numerous cellular activities including spreading and proliferation; two processes that have been associated with gene transfer efficiency. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that the presence of a biomineralized coating on biodegradable substrates would affect transgene expression following nonviral gene delivery. Thin films were prepared from polymeric microspheres, while biomineralized films were fabricated from microspheres previously soaked in modified simulated body fluid. Mineralized films were significantly more rigid and had widespread mineral coverage compared with nonmineralized substrates. Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were cultured on biomineralized or nonmineralized films and transfected with plasmid DNA condensed with linear polyethyleneimine (PEI). Compared with cells transfected on nonmineralized films, increases in gene expression were detected in the presence of biomineral at all charge ratios examined. We observed increased uptake of both PEI and DNA by cells on mineralized films. The results of these studies offer an approach to modulate gene delivery and improve the potential benefit of nonviral gene delivery approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-354
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Biomineralization
  • Gene expression
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Nonviral gene therapy
  • SBF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Metals and Alloys


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