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Investigation of the potential therapeutic effect of cationic lipoplex mediated fibroblast growth factor-2 encoding plasmid DNA delivery on wound healing



Developing an alternative and efficient therapy for wound healing has been an important research topic for pharmaceutical sciences. A straightforward but effective system for delivering fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) encoding plasmid DNA (pFGF-2) for wound healing therapy was aimed to develop in this study.


In order to provide the delivery of pFGF-2, a delivery vector, namely, cationic lipid nanoparticle (cLN) was developed by the melt-emulsification process, complexed with pFGF-2 to form a lipoplex system and further characterized. The pFGF-2 binding and protecting ability of lipoplexes were evaluated. The cytotoxicity and transfection efficiency of the lipoplexes, FGF-2 expression levels, and in vitro wound healing ability have been investigated on the L929 fibroblast cell line.


The obtained lipoplex system has a particle size of 88.53 nm with a low PDI (0.185), and zeta potential values of 27.8 mV with a spherical shape. The ability of cLNs to bind pFGF-2 and protect against nucleases was demonstrated by gel retardation assay. Furthermore, the developed FGF-2 carrying lipoplexes system showed significant transfection and FGF-2 expression ability comparing naked plasmid. Finally, scratch assay revealed that the developed system is able to promote in vitro cell proliferation/migration in 48 h.


Promising results have been achieved with the use of lipoplexes carrying pFGF-2, and this approach could be considered as a potentially applicable concept for the future gene-based wound healing therapies.

Graphical abstract

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Availability of data and material

All data produced during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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The authors would like to thank Ayse Nalbantsoy and Batuhan Orman from the Ege University, Faculty of Engineering, Bioengineering Department, Izmir, Turkey for their help with flow cytometry experiments.


This project was supported by Izmir Katip Celebi University, Scientific Research Projects Coordinatorship (Project Number: 2019-ÖNAP-ECZF-0002).

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All authors contributed to this work presented in this manuscript. All authors have given approval for the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Gülşah Erel-Akbaba.

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Erel-Akbaba, G., Akbaba, H. Investigation of the potential therapeutic effect of cationic lipoplex mediated fibroblast growth factor-2 encoding plasmid DNA delivery on wound healing. DARU J Pharm Sci (2021).

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  • Fibroblast Growth Factor- 2
  • Cationic lipoplexes
  • pDNA
  • Wound healing
  • Gene delivery