Evaluation of the benefits of microfluidic-assisted preparation of polymeric nanoparticles for DNA delivery

Randa Zoqlam, Chris Morris, Mohammad Akbar, Alaaldin Alkilany, Sherif Hamdallah, Peter Belton, Sheng Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


An effective delivery vehicle of genetic materials to their target site is the key to a successful gene therapy. In many cases, nanoparticles are used as the vehicle of choice and the efficiency of the delivery relies heavily on the physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles. Microfluidics, although being a low throughput method, has been increasingly researched for the preparation of nanoparticles. A range of superior properties were claimed in the literature for microfluidic-prepared platforms, but no evidence on direct comparison of the properties of the nanoparticles prepared by microfluidics and conventional high throughput method exists, leaving the industry with little guidance on how to select effective large-scale nanoparticle manufacturing method. This study used plasmid DNA-loaded PLGA-Eudragit nanoparticles as the model system to critically compare the nanoparticles prepared by conventional and microfluidics-assisted nanoprecipitation. The PLGA-Eudragit nanoparticles prepared by microfluidics were found to be statistically significantly larger than the ones prepared by conventional nanoprecipitation. PLGA-Eudragit nanoparticle prepared conventionally showed higher DNA loading efficiency. Although the DNA-loaded nanoparticles prepared by both methods did not induce significant cytotoxicity, the transfection efficiency was found to be higher for the ones prepared conventionally which has good potential for plasmid delivery. This study for the first time provides a direct comparison of the DNA-loaded nanoparticles prepared by microfluidic and conventional methods. The findings bring new insights into critical evaluation of the selection of manufacturing methods of nanoparticles for future gene therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112243
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: C
Early online date7 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Gene therapy
  • Gene transfection
  • Microfluidics
  • Nanoprecipitation
  • PLGA
  • Plasmid DNA
  • Polymeric nanoparticle

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