DNA complexes with block and graft copolymers of N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide and 2-(trimethylammonio)ethyl methacrylate

David Oupický, Čestmír Koňák, Karel Ulbrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Block and graft copolymers of N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide (HPMA) with 2-(trimethylammonio)ethyl methacrylate (TMAEM) were synthesized for the preparation of polyelectrolyte complexes with calf thymus DNA intended for targeted delivery of genes in vivo. In this study, the effects of the poly(HPMA) content of copolymers on the parameters of the interpolyelectrolyte complexes is investigated. Static and dynamic light scattering methods were used as a main tool for characterization. The ability of the copolymers to condense DNA was studied by the ethidium bromide displacement method. The stability of the complexes against precipitation in 0.15 M NaCl and the resistance of the complexed DNA to the action of nucleases was also studied. It was found that the presence of poly(HPMA) in the copolymers has not significantly affected the ability of poly(TMAEM) parts of the copolymers to form complexes with DNA, but has an effect on molecular parameters and aggregation (precipitation) of the complexes. The size of the complexes increases with increasing poly(HPMA) content while their apparent molecular weight decreases. The complex stability against precipitation in 0.15 M NaCl strongly depends on the amount of poly(HPMA) in the copolymer structure. The presence of a sufficiently high content of poly(HPMA) is a prerequisite for achieving good stability. The structure of the complexes changes with increasing poly(HPMA) content from 'soft balls' to the polymer coil. The density of the complexes decreases with increasing poly(HPMA) content independently of the copolymer structure. The DNA complexes of all copolymers showed very good nuclease stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-590
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Biomaterials Science, Polymer Edition
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Block and graft copolymers
  • DNA
  • Interpolyeleclrolyte complexes
  • Polycations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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