AbstractNowadays, gene transfer technology has been widely used to promote endothelialization of artificial vascular grafts. However, the lack of gene vectors with low cytotoxicity and targeting function still remains a pressing challenge. Herein, polyethylenimine (PEI, 1.8 kDa or 10 kDa) was conjugated to an amphiphilic and biodegradable diblock copolymer poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (mPEG-b-PLGA) to prepare mPEG-b-PLGA-g-PEI copolymers with the aim to develop gene vectors with low cytotoxicity while high transfection efficiency. The micelles were prepared from mPEG-b-PLGA-g-PEI copolymers by self-assembly method. Furthermore, Cys-Arg-Glu-Asp-Val-Trp (CREDVW) peptide was linked to micelle surface to enable the micelles with special recognition for endothelial cells (ECs). In addition, pEGFP-ZNF580 plasmids were condensed into these CREDVW-linked micelles to enhance the proliferation of ECs. These CREDVW-linked micelle/pEGFP-ZNF580 complexes exhibited low cytotoxicity by MTT assay. The cell transfection results demonstrated that pEGFP-ZNF580 could be transferred into ECs efficiently by these micelles. The results of Western blot analysis showed that the relative ZNF580 protein level in transfected ECs increased to 76.9%. The rapid migration of transfected ECs can be verified by wound healing assay. These results indicated that CREDVW-linked micelles could be a suitable gene transfer vector with low cytotoxicity and high transfection efficiency, which has great potential for rapid endothelialization of artificial blood vessels.