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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name



Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Guangzhao Mao


Bioreducible Layer-by-Layer (LbL) polymer/DNA films seem promising as localized gene delivery vectors. LbL films can be engineered to disassemble in specific physiological environments to release their DNA for transfection into the host cells. Three polymers containing disulfide bonds, which can be reduced by thiol groups, were used to construct LbL films. Ex situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize film behavior and degradation patterns. Hyperbranched polycations were shown to be able to condense DNA, which is known to improve the efficiency of gene delivery. The films completely degraded to release their contents in response to dithiothreitol and salt. Elastic moduli were measured using AFM force microscopy. Based on the characterized behavior of bioreducible LbL films, the potential of these bioreducible polycation-based LbL films as safe and effective gene delivery agents seems propitious.

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