The development of safe and efficient polymer carriers for DNA vaccine delivery requires mechanistic understanding of structure-function relationship of the polymer carriers and their interaction with antigen-presenting cells. Here we have synthesized a series of diblock copolymers with well-defined chain-length using atom transfer radical polymerization and characterized the influence of polycation chain-length on the physico-chemical properties of the polymer/DNA complexes as well as the interaction with dendritic cells. The copolymers consist of a hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) block and a cationic poly(aminoethyl methacrylate) (PAEM) block. The average degree of polymerization (DP) of the PAEM block was varied among 19, 39, and 75, with nearly uniform distribution. With increasing PAEM chain-length, polyplexes formed by the diblock copolymers and plasmid DNA had smaller average particle size and showed higher stability against electrostatic destabilization by salt and heparin. The polymers were not toxic to mouse dendritic cells (DCs) and only displayed chain-length-dependent toxicity at a high concentration (1mg/mL). In vitro gene transfection efficiency and polyplex uptake in DCs were also found to correlate with chain-length of the PAEM block with the longer polymer chain favoring transfection and cellular uptake. The polyplexes induced a modest up-regulation of surface markers for DC maturation that was not significantly dependent on PAEM chain-length. Finally, the polyplex prepared from the longest PAEM block (DP of 75) achieved an average of 20% enhancement over non-condensed anionic dextran in terms of uptake by DCs in the draining lymph nodes 24h after subcutaneous injection into mice. Insights gained from studying such structurally well-defined polymer carriers and their interaction with dendritic cells may contribute to improved design of practically useful DNA vaccine delivery systems.