In vitro and in vivo characterization of CPP and transferrin modified liposomes encapsulating pDNA

Bruna dos Santos Rodrigues, Takahisa Kanekiyo, Jagdish Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The limitations imposed on brain therapy by the blood–brain barrier (BBB) have warranted the development of carriers that can overcome and deliver therapeutic agents into the brain. We strategically designed liposomal nanoparticles encasing plasmid DNA for efficient transfection and translocation across the in vitro BBB model as well as in vivo brain-targeted delivery. Liposomes were surface modified with two ligands, cell-penetrating peptide (PFVYLI or R9F2) for enhanced internalization into cells and transferrin (Tf) ligand for targeting transferrin-receptor expressed on brain capillary endothelial cells. Dual-modified liposomes encapsulating pDNA demonstrated significantly (P < 0.05) higher in vitro transfection efficiency compared to single-modified nanoparticles. R9F2Tf-liposomes showed superior ability to cross in vitro BBB and, subsequently, transfect primary neurons. Additionally, these nanoparticles crossed in vivo BBB and reached brain parenchyma of mice (6.6%) without causing tissue damage. Transferrin receptor-targeting with enhanced cell penetration is a relevant strategy for efficient brain-targeted delivery of genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102225
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Brain
  • Liposome
  • R9F2
  • Transferrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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