Controlling Stem Cell Gene Expression and Behaviors by Nanotopography-Mediated siRNA/DNA Delivery

Invention Summary:

Manipulation of gene expression in stem cells through siRNA/DNA transfection holds great promise for exerting an accurate control on stem cell behaviors. However, today’s most popular methods for nucleic acid delivering into stem cells are less than efficient, and involve the use of either cationic transfection agents that cause cell death or viruses which pose safety issues and require more intensive labor.

Rutgers scientists have made possible the delivery of siRNA/DNA through utilizing extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, such as laminin, with remarkable efficiency and little or no toxicity. The research team has already demonstrated that stem cell fate can be controlled by making ECM protein patterns having specific geometries and dimensions. This technology is a nanotopography-mediated delivery of nucleic acids into stem cells cultured on films of positively charged nanoparticles coated with laminin. While achieving high efficiency in the siRNA-mediated knockdown experiment on GFP expression in neural stem cells, the system eliminates the need for cationic transfection agents or viruses. It has also been demonstrated that stem cells take up only the siRNA/DNA from the nanoparticle surface but not the nanoparticles per se, which is highly advantageous as there would be no concerns regarding the toxicity of nanoparticles.

Market Applications:

  • Research tool for siRNA or gene delivery into stem cells
  • Drug delivery method for siRNA or gene therapy in patients


  • High delivery efficiency for nucleic acids
  • Little or no toxicity
  • Straightforward and simple experimental procedures

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Lisa Lyu
Assistant Director
Rutgers University
Drug Delivery