Targeted Macromolecules Delivery by Large Lipidic Nanovesicles Electrofusion with Mammalian Cells


Lipidic nanovesicles (so called liposomes) were one the earliest forms of nanovectors. One of their limits was our lack of knowledge on the delivery pathway of their content to the target cell cytoplasm. The present communication describes an efficient way to enhance the delivery. Pulsed electric fields (PEF) are known since the early 80’s to mediate a fusogenic state of plasma membranes when applied to a cell suspension or a tissue. Polykaryons are detected when PEF are applied on cells in contact during or after the pulses. Heterofusion can be obtained when a cell mixture is pulsed. When lipidic nanovesicles, either small unilamellar vesicles (SUVs) or large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs), are electrostatically brought in contact with electropermeabilized cells by a salt bridge, their content is delivered into the cytoplasm in electropermeabilized cells. The PEF parameters are selected to affect specifically the cells leaving the vesicles unaffected. It is the electropermeabilized state of the cell membrane that is the trigger of the merging between the plasma membrane and the lipid bilayer. The present investigation shows that the transfer of macromolecules can be obtained; i.e. 20 kD dextrans can be easily transferred while a direct transfer does not take place under the same electrical parameters. Cell viability was not affected by the treatment. As delivery is present only on electropermeabilized cells, a targeting of the effect is obtained in the volume where the PEF parameters are over the critical value for electropermeabilization. A homogeneous cytoplasm labeling is observed under digitised videomicroscopy. The process is a content and “membrane” mixing, following neither a kiss and run or an endocytotic pathway.

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Pascal, D. , Valérie, R. , Stefan, W. , Remy, O. , Louise, C. , Pauline, H. , Alain, M. and Justin, T. (2011) Targeted Macromolecules Delivery by Large Lipidic Nanovesicles Electrofusion with Mammalian Cells. Journal of Biomaterials and Nanobiotechnology, 2, 527-532. doi: 10.4236/jbnb.2011.225063.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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