In 2004, Shen et al. developed a safe and efficient gene transfer system using a DNA-apatite composite layer. We have recently succeeded in improving further the gene transfer efficiency by immobilizing a cell adhesion molecule laminin, in a DNA-apatite composite layer. In this study, we showed that not only laminin but fibronectin immobilized in a DNA-apatite composite layer enhances cell adhesion and cell spreading on the layer, thereby markedly improving the gene transfer efficiency. Therefore, the immobilization of a cell adhesion molecule in a DNA-apatite composite layer is crucial for improving the gene transfer efficiency. By using fibronectin instead of laminin and optimizing the condition to prepare the fibronectin-DNA-apatite composite layer, the amount (weight) of cell adhesion molecule required was reduced to approximately one-fourth while retaining the relatively high gene transfer efficiency. It was also shown that the resulting fibronectin-DNA-apatite composite layer prepared under the optimized condition mediated the area-specific gene transfer on its surface, that is, DNA was preferentially transferred to the cells adhering to the surface of the fibronectin-DNA-apatite composite layer. The present gene transfer system with potential for area-specific transfection and advantages of safety and relatively high efficiency would be useful in tissue engineering applications, gene therapy, and production of transfection microarrays.
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