Dempski, Robert E.
Rolle, Marsha W.
Upconverting nanoparticles (UCNP) were characterized as siRNA transfection agents, in an approach to target superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), a protein implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Two UCNP designs were tested: (1) NaYF4:Yb,Er@NaYF4 core/shell nanoparticles with polyethylene imine (PEI) coating and (2) NaYF4:Yb,Er@CaF2 core/shell nanoparticles with a citric acid/PEI coating. The NaYF4-shell particles exhibited a low toxic range, but effective plasmid and siRNA delivery, quantified through green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression and SOD1 knockdown in Western blots. The CaF2shell particles had a greater working range, but were less effective for payload delivery. Continued research is needed to optimize a UCNP with high cell tolerance and high transfection efficiency.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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Chemistry and Biochemistry