Cell imaging and DNA delivery in fibroblastic cells by conjugated polyelectrolytes

Yong Cheol Shin, Jong Ho Lee, Ji Eun Jeong, Boram Kim, Eun Ji Lee, Oh Seong Jin, Tae Gon Jung, Jun Jae Lee, Han Young Woo, Dong Wook Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study concentrates on the potential application of conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs) to cell imaging and DNA delivery. Four different types of polyfluorene copolymers, namely, PAHFP-Br, PAEFP-Br, PAHFbT-Br, and PSBFP-Na, which have the same π-conjugated backbone but different side chains, were synthesized. For cytotoxicity testing, L-929 fibroblastic cells were treated with increasing concentrations (0-50 μM) of each CPE and then cell viability was determined by WST-8 assay. Cellular uptake of CPEs into cultured L-929 cells was observed by fluorescence microscopy. To examine DNA delivery by CPEs, the cells were incubated for 1 H with PAHFP-Br/fluorescein (Fl)-labeled single-stranded DNA (ssDNA-Fl) complex and then visualized by fluorescence microscopy. Cytotoxicity of CPEs was increased in a dose-dependent manner but at lower than 10 μM, PAHFP-Br, PAEFP-Br, and PSBFP-Na did not show any cytotoxic effects on the cells. When added to cell cultures at 1 μM, PAHFP-Br/ssDNA-Fl complex was delivered and then dissociated into PAHFP-Br and ssDNA-Fl within the cells. This result implies that PAHFP-Br can enable cell imaging and DNA delivery into fibroblastic cells. Therefore, it is suggested that PAHFP-Br with various advantages such as low cytotoxicity and high fluorescence efficiency can be extensively used as a potential agent for cell imaging and gene delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-588
Number of pages9
JournalBiotechnology and Applied Biochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • cell imaging
  • cellular uptake
  • conjugated polyelectrolytes
  • cytotoxicity
  • gene delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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