Poly(ε-CBZ-L-lysine) can be mixed with biodegradable polymers such as poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) or poly(L-lactic acid) and formed into films, foams, or microspheres. Surface amino groups may then be deprotected with acid or lithium/liquid ammonia. The amino groups serve as a method to modify the surface by attachment of other molecules. In the present experiments, we show that these polymer materials, as films or foams, may be surface modified by the attachment of polyethyleneimine (PEI). Plasmid DNA attached to the PEI can transfect cells plated on the surface over several days. Covalent attachment of PEI was required for transfection to be efficient. PEI was also attached to surface-bound collagen on cell culture plates and was shown to mediate transfection.
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