Polyphosphonium polymers for siRNA delivery: An efficient and nontoxic alternative to polyammonium carriers

Cátia Ornelas-Megiatto, Peter R. Wich, Jean Frechet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


A water-soluble polyphosphonium polymer was synthesized and directly compared with its ammonium analog in terms of siRNA delivery. The triethylphosphonium polymer shows transfection efficiency up to 65% with 100% cell viability, whereas the best result obtained for the ammonium analog reaches only 25% transfection with 85% cell viability. Moreover, the nature of the alkyl substituents on the phosphonium cations is shown to have an important influence on the transfection efficiency and toxicity of the polyplexes. The present results show that the use of positively charged phosphonium groups is a worthy choice to achieve a good balance between toxicity and transfection efficiency in gene delivery systems. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1902-1905
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 19 2012

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This project has been funded in part with Federal funds from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN268201000043C, and in part through the Frechet "various donors" fund for the support of research in new materials. We thank Ann Fischer and Michelle Yasukawa for help with cell culture and Dr. Peter Friebe and Dr. Eva Harris for assistance with and the use of their luminescence plate reader. P.R.W. gratefully acknowledges the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) for partial funding.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Catalysis


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