Composite nanofibers of biodegradable poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) encapsulating chitosan/siRNA nanoparticles (NPs) were prepared by electrospinning. Acidic/alkaline hydrolysis and a bulk/surface degradation mechanism were investigated in order to achieve an optimized release profile for prolonged and efficient gene silencing. Thermo-controlled AFM in situ imaging not only revealed the integrity of the encapsulated chitosan/siRNA polyplex but also shed light on the decreasing T(g) of PLGA on the fiber surfaces during release. A triphasic release profile based on bulk erosion was obtained at pH 7.4, while a triphasic release profile involving both surface erosion and bulk erosion was obtained at pH 5.5. A short alkaline pretreatment provided a homogeneous hydrolysis and consequently a nearly zero-order release profile. The interesting release profile was further investigated for siRNA transfection, where the encapsulated chitosan/siRNA NPs exhibited up to 50% EGFP gene silencing activity after 48 h post-transfection on H1299 cells.