Hydrophobically modified chitosan/gold nanoparticles for DNA delivery

Shanta Raj Bhattarai, Remant Bahadur Remant, Santosh Aryal, Narayan Bhattarai, Sun Young Kim, Ho Keun Yi, Pyoung Han Hwang, Hak Yong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Present study dealt an application of modified chitosan gold nanoparticles (Nac-6-Au) for the immobilization of necked plasmid DNA. Gold nanoparticles stabilized with N-acylated chitosan were prepared by graft-onto approach. The stabilized gold nanoparticles were characterized by different physico-chemical techniques such as UV-vis, TEM, ELS and DLS. MTT assay was used for in vitro cytotoxicity of the nanoparticles into three different cell lines (NIH 3T3, CT-26 and MCF-7). The formulation of plasmid DNA with the nanoparticles corresponds to the complex forming capacity and in-vitro/in-vivo transfection efficiency was studied via gel electrophoresis and transfection methods, respectively. Results showed the modified chitosan gold nanoparticles were well-dispersed and spherical in shape with average size around 10∼12 nm in triple distilled water at pH 7.4, and showed relatively no cytotoxicity at low concentration. Addition of plasmid DNA on the aqueous solution of the nanoparticles markedly reduced surface potential (50.0∼66.6%) as well as resulted in a 13.33% increase in hydrodynamic diameters of the formulated nanoparticles. Transfection efficiency of Nac-6-Au/DNA was dependent on cell type, and higher β-galactosidase activity was observed on MCF-7 breast cancer cell. Typically, this activity was 5 times higher in 4.5 mg/ml nanoparticles concentration than that achieved by the nanoparticles of other concentrations (and/or control). However, this activity was lower in in-vitro and dramatically higher in in-vivo than that of commercially available transfection kit (Lipofectin®) and DNA. From these results, it can be expected to develop alternative new vectors for gene delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Chitosan
  • DNA delivery
  • Gene therapy
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Nanomedicine
  • Non viral vectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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