Polyethylenimine (PEI) is a simple, inexpensive and effective reagent for condensing and linking plasmid DNA to adenovirus for gene delivery

Gene Ther. 1997 Aug;4(8):773-82. doi: 10.1038/sj.gt.3300471.


A simple and inexpensive method of condensing and linking plasmid DNA to carrier adenovirus particles is described. The synthetic polycation polyethylenimine is used to condense plasmid DNA into positively charged 100 nm complexes. These PEI-DNA complexes are then bound to adenovirus particles through charge interactions with negative domains on the viral hexon. The resulting transfection complexes deliver plasmid DNA to cells by the adenovirus infectious route without interference from virus gene expression because psoralen-inactivated virus is employed. The PEI-DNA-adenovirus complexes display DNA delivery comparable to more sophisticated DNA virus complexes employing streptavidin/biotin linkage, but require no special reagents and are much easier to prepare.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Plasmids*
  • Polyethyleneimine*


  • Polyethyleneimine