New degradable cationic polyesters for nonviral gene delivery

Jie Fu, Eric Krauland, Yah El Har-el, Justin Hanes

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A new family of biodegradable cationic polyesters consisting of aspartic acid and aliphatic diols of various lengths has been synthesized. Since the polymers formed are strictly alternating, the cationic charge density can be controlled by simply changing the size of the spacer aliphatic monomer. One such polymer, poly(aspartic anhydride-co-ethylene glycol) (PAE), was found to be capable of self-assembly (∼100 nm) into polymeric micelles and complexation with DNA. Kinetic studies reveal PAE initially complexes DNA into sub-100 nm complexes and subsequently releases it after 3-6 days at room temperature. With the ability to degrade and unpack its genetic material, this new family of biodegradable cationic polymers shows promise as versatile gene carriers for in vitro and in vivo applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-552
Number of pages2
JournalAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2002
EventProceedings of the 2002 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology 24th Annual Conference and the 2002 Fall Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES / EMBS) - Houston, TX, United States
Duration: Oct 23 2002Oct 26 2002


  • Biodegradable polyester
  • Gene delivery
  • Non-viral gene carrier
  • Polycations
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics


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