In situ gelling liquid crystalline system as local siRNA delivery system

Livia N. Borgheti-Cardoso, Sander A A Kooijmans, Marcel H.A.M. Fens, Roy van der Meel, Fabiana T.M.C. Vicentini, Marcia C.A. Fantini, Maria Vitória L.B. Bentley, Raymond M. Schiffelers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


An effective short interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery system protects the siRNA from degradation, facilitates its cellular uptake, and promotes its release into the cytoplasm. Local administration of siRNA presents advantages over systemic administration, such as the possibility to use lower doses and allow local and sustained release. In this context, in situ solidifying organogels based on monoglycerides (MO), polyethylenimine (PEI), propylene glycol (PG) and tris buffer are an attractive strategy for intratumoral delivery of siRNA. In this study, precursor fluid formulation (PFF) composed of MO/PEI/PG/tris buffer at 7.85:0.65:76.5:15 (w/w/w/w) was used to deliver siRNA to tumor cells. The internal structure of the gel obtained from PFF was characterized using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). In addition, its ability to complex siRNA, protect it from degradation, and functionally deliver it to tumor cells was investigated. Moreover, in vivo gel formation following intratumoral injection was evaluated. The gel formed in excess water from PFF was found to comprise a mixture of hexagonal and cubic phases. The system was able to complex high amounts of siRNA, protect it from degradation, promote siRNA internalization, and induce gene silencing in vitro in a variety of tumor cell lines. Moreover, a gel formed in situ following intratumoral injection in a murine xenograft model. In conclusion, PFF is a potential delivery system for local and sustained delivery of siRNA to tumor tissue after intratumoral administration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1681-1690
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene Silencing/physiology
  • Liquid Crystals/chemistry
  • Monoglycerides/chemistry
  • Polyethyleneimine/chemistry
  • Propylene Glycol/chemistry
  • RNA, Small Interfering/genetics


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