Title page for ETD etd-11182008-172341

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Layman, John
URN etd-11182008-172341
Title Structure-Property-Transfection Relationships in Polycation-mediated Non-viral DNA Delivery
Degree PhD
Department Macromolecular Science and Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Long, Timothy E. Committee Chair
Wilkes, Garth L. Committee Co-Chair
Davis, Richey M. Committee Member
Lee, Yong Woo Committee Member
Turner, S. Richard Committee Member
  • gene delivery
  • plasmid DNA
  • polyelectrolytes
  • non-viral agents
  • aqueous characterization
  • structure-property relationships
Date of Defense 2008-11-03
Availability unrestricted
Non-viral gene delivery agents, such as cationic polyelectrolytes, are attractive replacements to viruses due to the absence of potential immunogenic risk and the ability to tune their macromolecular structure. Although non-viral vectors possess numerous design advantages, several investigators have shown that transfer efficiencies are considerably lower when compared to viral vectors. The work reported in this dissertation aims to fundamentally understand the underlying structure-transfection relationships involved in polycation-mediated gene delivery. Efforts focused on the influence of molecular weight, macromolecular topology, carbohydrate modifications, and charge density on the overall transfection activity in vitro. Several families of polycations were synthesized in order to correlate chemo-physical characterization with transfection results. Results revealed that seemingly small changes in the structure of cationic polyelectrolytes can have profound consequences on their transfection activity.
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