(478c) Polymersome Delivery of siRNA and Antisense Oligonucleotides
siRNA and antisense oligonucleotides, AON, have similar size and negative charge and are often packaged for in vitro delivery with cationic lipids or polymers ? but positively charged assemblies are problematic in vivo. Here we demonstrate loading and functional delivery of RNAi and AON with neutral, nano-transforming polymersomes. These degradable carriers are taken up passively by cultured cells after which the vesicles transform into micelles that allow endolysosomal escape and delivery of either siRNA into cytosol for mRNA knockdown or else AON into the nucleus for exon skipping within pre-mRNA. Polymersome-mediated knockdown appears as efficient as common cationic-lipid transfection and about half as effective as Lenti-virus after sustained selection. For AON we further show that intramuscular injection into a mouse model of muscular dystrophy leads to the expected protein expression, which occurs along the entire length of muscle. The lack of cationic groups in antisense polymersomes together with initial tests of efficacy suggests broader utility of these non-viral carriers.