The use of biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles in combination with a low-pressure gene gun for transdermal DNA delivery

Po Wei Lee, Shu Fen Peng, Chun Jen Su, Fwu Long Mi, Hsin Lung Chen, Ming Cheng Wei, Hao Jan Lin, Hsing Wen Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


Gold particles have been used as a carrier for transdermal gene delivery, which may cause adverse side effects when accumulated. In this study, biodegradable nanoparticles, composed of chitosan (CS) and poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA), were prepared by an ionic-gelation method for transdermal DNA delivery (CS/γ-PGA/DNA) using a low-pressure gene gun. The conventional CS/DNA without the incorporation of γ-PGA was used as a control. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) was used to examine the internal structures of test nanoparticles, while identification of their constituents was conducted by Fourier transformed infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. The CS/γ-PGA/DNA were spherical in shape with a relatively homogeneous size distribution. In contrast, CS/DNA had a heterogeneous size distribution with a donut, rod or pretzel shape. Both test nanoparticles were able to effectively retain the encapsulated DNA and protect it from nuclease degradation. As compared with CS/DNA, CS/γ-PGA/DNA improved their penetration depth into the mouse skin and enhanced gene expression. These observations may be attributed to the fact that CS/γ-PGA/DNA were more compact in their internal structures and had a greater density than their CS/DNA counterparts, thus having a larger momentum to penetrate into the skin barrier. The results revealed that CS/γ-PGA/DNA may substitute gold particles as a DNA carrier for transdermal gene delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-751
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Degradable nanoparticle
  • Gene carrier
  • Gene gun
  • Transdermal gene delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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