Preliminary study of a novel transfection modality for in vivo siRNA delivery to vocal fold fibroblasts

Iv Kraja, Renjie Bing, Nao Hiwatashi, Bernard Rousseau, Danielle Nalband, Kent Kirshenbaum, Ryan C. Branski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: An obstacle to clinical use of RNA-based gene suppression is instability and inefficiency of current delivery modalities. Nanoparticle delivery likely holds great promise, but the kinetics and transfection conditions must be optimized prior to in vivo utility. We investigated a RNA nanoparticle complex incorporating a lipitoid transfection reagent in comparison to a commercially available reagent. Study Design: In vitro. Methods: We investigated which variables influence transfection efficiency of lipitoid oligomers and a commercially available reagent across species, in vitro. These variables included duration, dose, and number of administrations, as well as serum and media conditions. The target gene was Smad3, a signaling protein in the transforming growth factor-β cascade implicated in fibroplasia in the vocal folds and other tissues. Results: The two reagents suppressed Smad3 mRNA for up to 96 hours; lipitoid performed favorably and comparably. Both compounds yielded 60% to 80% mRNA knockdown in rat, rabbit, and human vocal fold fibroblasts (P < 0.05 relative to control). Dose and number of administrations played a significant role in gene suppression (P < 0.05). Suppression was more dose-sensitive with lipitoid. At a constant siRNA concentration, a 50% decrease in gene expression was observed in response to a five-fold increase in lipitoid concentration. Increased number of administrations enhanced gene suppression, ∼45% decrease between one and four administrations. Neither serum nor media type altered efficiency. Conclusion: Lipitoid effectively knocked down Smad3 expression across multiple transfection conditions. These preliminary data are encouraging, and lipitoid warrants further investigation with the goal of clinical utility. Level of Evidence: NA. Laryngoscope, 127:E231–E237, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E231-E237
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Lipofectamine
  • Smad3
  • fibroblast
  • lipitoid
  • siRNA
  • transfection
  • vocal fold
  • voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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