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Development of a genetic material transfer approach for gene therapy

Ayaz, Şerife
This thesis is focused on the development of a gene delivery system, especially for the purpose of DNA vaccination. DNA expression vectors have the potential to be useful therapeutics for a wide variety of applications. A carrier system was designed to realize the delivery of genes to cells and the promotion of controlled adequate expression in the target cells. The low gene delivery efficiency observed with systems composed of polyplexes is mainly due to low stability of polycation e.g polyethylenimine-DNA complexes and inability of most of the complexes to the reach nucleus after entering the cells. The encapsulation of polyethylenimine-DNA complexes inside the alginate microspheres was expected to provide protection from nuclease-based attack, thereby, increasing the stability of the complex and also to achieve controlled release of the complex at the target tissue. In this study, controlled release of complexes from alginate microspheres was studied with DNA staining. In Tris-HCl buffer, the release of PEI-DNA complexes were completed in 48 h, however in cell culture medium (DMEM) 18 % of complexes were released in 48 h because of presence of Ca+2 ions in DMEM. Also, in order to provide mucosal gene delivery for mucosal immunization polyethylene glycol (PEG) was introduced into the composition of microspheres and the two systems were compared in terms of release kinetics of the complexes. In the presence of PEG, release of PEI-DNA complexes from alginate microspheres in the cell culture medium (DMEM) were enhanced and 50 % of PEI-DNA were released from the microspheres in 48 h. To understand the effect of the PEG on the surface of microspheres zeta potential analysis and microscopic examination were carried out. By increasing percentage of PEG (0, 15, 30, 50) in microspheres, less negative zeta potential value were measured. Mucoadhesion of alginate and