A comprehensive mathematical model of drug release kinetics from nano-liposomes, derived from optimization studies of cationic PEGylated liposomal doxorubicin formulations for drug-gene delivery.
Cationic liposomes are broadly used as non-viral vectors to deliver genetic materials that can be used to treat various diseases including cancer. To circumvent problems associated with cationic liposome-mediated delivery systems such as low transfection efficiency and serum-induced inhibition, cholesterol-based cationic lipids have been synthesized that resist the effects of serum. The introduction of an ether-type linkage and extension of the aminopropyl head group on the cholesterol backbone increased the transfection efficiency and DNA binding affinity compared to a carbamoyl-type linkage and a mono aminopropyl head group, respectively. Under optimal conditions, each liposome formulation showed higher transfection efficiency in AGS and Huh-7 cells than commercially available cationic liposomes, particularly in the presence of serum. The following molecular structures were found to have a positive effect on transfection properties: (i) extended aminopropyl head groups for a strong binding affinity to plasmid DNA; (ii) an ether linkage that favors electrostatic binding to plasmid DNA; and (iii) a cholesterol backbone for serum resistance.