Modeling the proton sponge hypothesis: Examining proton sponge effectiveness for enhancing intracellular gene delivery through multiscale modeling
Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition
Dendrimer, Drug delivery, Gene therapy, Modeling, Proton sponge
Dendrimers have been proposed as therapeutic gene delivery platforms. Their superior transfection efficiency is attributed to their ability to buffer the acidification of the endosome and attach to the nucleic acids. For effective transfection, the strategy is to synthesize novel dendrimers that optimize both of these traits, but the prediction of the buffering behavior in the endosome remains elusive. It is suggested that buffering dendrimers induce an osmotic pressure sufficient to rupture the endosome and release nucleic acids, which forms to sequestrate most internalized exogenous materials. Presented here are the results of a computational study modeling osmotically driven endosome burst or the 'proton sponge effect.' The approach builds on previous cellular simulation efforts by linking the previous model with a sponge protonation model, then observing the impact on endosomal swelling and acidification. Calibrated and validated using reported experimental data, the simulations offer insights into defining the properties of suitable dendrimers for enhancing gene delivery as a function of polymer structure. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.
Freeman, E., Weiland, L., & Meng, W. (2013). Modeling the proton sponge hypothesis: Examining proton sponge effectiveness for enhancing intracellular gene delivery through multiscale modeling. Journal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition, 24 (4), 398-416. https://doi.org/10.1080/09205063.2012.690282