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. 2019 May;90:60-70.
doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.04.020. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Scaffold-mediated Non-Viral Delivery Platform for CRISPR/Cas9-based Genome Editing

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Scaffold-mediated Non-Viral Delivery Platform for CRISPR/Cas9-based Genome Editing

Jiah Shin Chin et al. Acta Biomater. .

Abstract

Genome editing, especially via the simple and versatile type II CRISPR/Cas9 system, offers an effective avenue to precisely control cell fate, an important aspect of tissue regeneration. Unfortunately, most CRISPR/Cas9 non-viral delivery strategies only utilise micro-/nano-particle delivery methods. While these approaches provide reasonable genomic editing efficiencies, their systemic delivery may lead to undesirable off-target effects. For in vivo applications, a more localized and sustained delivery approach may be useful, particularly in the context of tissue regeneration. Here, we developed a scaffold that delivers the CRISPR/Cas9 components (i.e. single guide RNA (sgRNA) and Cas9 protein complexes) in a localized and non-viral manner. Specifically, using mussel-inspired bioadhesive coating, polyDOPA-melanin (pDOPA), we adsorbed Cas9:sgRNA lipofectamine complexes onto bio-mimicking fiber scaffolds. To evaluate the genome-editing efficiency of this platform, U2OS.EGFP cells were used as the model cell type. pDOPA coating was essential in allowing Cas9:sgRNA lipofectamine complexes to adhere onto the scaffolds with a higher loading efficiency, while laminin coating was necessary for maintaining cell viability and proliferation on the pDOPA-coated fibers for effective gene editing (21.5% editing efficiency, p < 0.001). Importantly, U2OS.EGFP cells took up Cas9:sgRNA lipofectamine complexes directly from the scaffolds via reverse transfection. Overall, we demonstrate the efficacy of such fiber scaffolds in providing localized, sustained and non-viral delivery of Cas9:sgRNA complexes. Such genome editing scaffolds may find useful applications in tissue regeneration. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Currently, there is a lack of effective non-viral means to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 components for genome editing. Most existing approaches only utilize micro-/nano-particles by injection or systemic delivery, which may lead to undesirable off-target effects. Here, we report a platform that delivers the CRISPR/Cas9 components (i.e. single guide RNA (sgRNA) and Cas9 protein complexes) in a localized and sustained manner. We used mussel-inspired bioadhesive coating to functionalize the bio-mimicking fiber scaffolds with Cas9:sgRNA lipofectamine complexes, to allow effective gene editing for the cells seeded on the scaffolds. Importantly, the cells took up Cas9:sgRNA lipofectamine complexes directly from the scaffolds. Such genome editing scaffolds may find useful applications in tissue regeneration.

Keywords: Cas9 protein; Gene delivery; Gene editing; Ribonucleoprotein; Tissue engineering.

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