Non-Viral Nano-Vectors for Nucleic Acid Delivery

Bentham Science Publishers
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Frontiers in Nanomedicine, 2015, 1, 1 pp. 222 - 255
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The development of therapeutic nucleic acids has led to new strategies for treating various diseases. Non-viral, synthetic nano-vectors in gene therapy have attracted increasing attention due to their low immunogenicity and low toxicity compared to viral counterparts. Due to the molecular structure of nucleic acids, they are very prone to degradation in pH sensitive biological environments. Therefore, synthetic nano-vehicles for therapeutic delivery, known as ‘nano-vectors’, need to be cleverly designed and engineered to protect and deliver appropriate therapeutic nucleic acids to the targeted sites for action. In this chapter, a brief overview of various types of therapeutic nucleic acids is first provided, followed by analysis of the synthetic nanomaterials under development as delivery systems to carry nucleic acids. The nucleic acid-encapsulated nano-vectors discussed here open a window for a new generation of nanomedicine.
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