Project financed by UEFISCDI: Call PN-III-2016 P4-IDPCE

Project Type: Exploratory Research

Project Code: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0474

Contract No.: 36 ⁄ 2017

Project Duration: 12.07.2017 — 31.12.2019

Principal Investigator: Titus A. Beu, Professor, Dr.
University Babeş-Bolyai
Faculty of Physics
Department of Biomolecular Physics
1, M. Kogălniceanu Street, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 400084
Mobile: +40-752-441608
Email: titus.beu@ubbcluj.ro
Web: http://phys.ubbcluj.ro/~titus.beu/

Project abstract:

Polyethylenimine (PEI) shows one of the highest transfection efficiencies as a gene delivery vector, effectively protecting DNA from enzyme degradation. Its particular charge distribution is considered responsible for: (a) DNA condensation as PEI/DNA polyplexes (entering cells via endocytosis), (b) proton sponge effect of PEI (triggers release of polyplexes from endosome), and (c) DNA release from polyplexes (further processed inside the nucleus).

The major incentives of our interdisciplinary project, matching a H2020 high-priority research area, are the absence of a realistic force field (FF) for PEI and the high topicality of investigations regarding the role of PEI in DNA condensation.