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Leung A.K.K.,University of British Columbia | Hafez I.M.,University of British Columbia | Baoukina S.,University of Calgary | Belliveau N.M.,Precision Nanosystems | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2012

Lipid nanoparticles (LNP) containing ionizable cationic lipids are the leading systems for enabling therapeutic applications of siRNA; however, the structure of these systems has not been defined. Here we examine the structure of LNP siRNA systems containing DLinKC2-DMA(an ionizable cationic lipid), phospholipid, cholesterol and a polyethylene glycol (PEG) lipid formed using a rapid microfluidic mixing process. Techniques employed include cryo-transmission electron microscopy, 31P NMR, membrane fusion assays, density measurements, and molecular modeling. The experimental results indicate that these LNP siRNA systems have an interior lipid core containing siRNA duplexes complexed to cationic lipid and that the interior core also contains phospholipid and cholesterol. Consistent with experimental observations, molecular modeling calculations indicate that the interior of LNP siRNA systems exhibits a periodic structure of aqueous compartments, where some compartments contain siRNA. It is concluded that LNP siRNA systems formulated by rapid mixing of an ethanol solution of lipid with an aqueous medium containing siRNA exhibit a nanostructured core. The results give insight into the mechanism whereby LNP siRNA systems are formed, providing an understanding of the high encapsulation efficiencies that can be achieved and information on methods of constructing more sophisticated LNP systems. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source


Belliveau N.M.,Precision Nanosystems | Belliveau N.M.,University of British Columbia | Lin P.J.,University of British Columbia | Chen S.,University of British Columbia | And 9 more authors.
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids | Year: 2012

Lipid nanoparticles (LNP) are the leading systems for in vivo delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) for therapeutic applications. Formulation of LNP siRNA systems requires rapid mixing of solutions containing cationic lipid with solutions containing siRNA. Current formulation procedures employ macroscopic mixing processes to produce systems 70-nm diameter or larger that have variable siRNA encapsulation efficiency, homogeneity, and reproducibility. Here, we show that microfluidic mixing techniques, which permit millisecond mixing at the nanoliter scale, can reproducibly generate limit size LNP siRNA systems 20 nm and larger with essentially complete encapsulation of siRNA over a wide range of conditions with polydispersity indexes as low as 0.02. Optimized LNP siRNA systems produced by microfluidic mixing achieved 50% target gene silencing in hepatocytes at a dose level of 10 μg/kg siRNA in mice. We anticipate that microfluidic mixing, a precisely controlled and readily scalable technique, will become the preferred method for formulation of LNP siRNA delivery systems. © 2012 American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy All rights reserved. Source

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