Optimization of a Degradable Polymer-Lipid Nanoparticle for Potent Systemic Delivery of mRNA to the Lung Endothelium and Immune Cells

Nano Lett. 2018 Oct 10;18(10):6449-6454. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b02917. Epub 2018 Sep 20.


mRNA therapeutics hold great potential for treating a variety of diseases through protein-replacement, immunomodulation, and gene editing. However, much like siRNA therapy the majority of progress in mRNA delivery has been confined to the liver. Previously, we demonstrated that poly(β-amino esters), a class of degradable polymers, are capable of systemic mRNA delivery to the lungs in mice when formulated into nanoparticles with poly(ethylene glycol)-lipid conjugates. Using experimental design, a statistical approach to optimization that reduces experimental burden, we demonstrate herein that these degradable polymer-lipid nanoparticles can be optimized in terms of polymer synthesis and nanoparticle formulation to achieve a multiple order-of-magnitude increase in potency. Furthermore, using genetically engineered Cre reporter mice, we demonstrate that mRNA is functionally delivered to both the lung endothelium and pulmonary immune cells, expanding the potential utility of these nanoparticles.

Keywords: PBAE; mRNA Delivery; nanoparticles; optimization; polymers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelium / drug effects*
  • Endothelium / immunology
  • Endothelium / pathology
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Humans
  • Lipids / administration & dosage
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Lung / drug effects*
  • Lung / immunology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mice
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • RNA, Messenger / chemistry
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / administration & dosage*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / chemistry
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics


  • Lipids
  • Polymers
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Polyethylene Glycols