Successful gene therapy has been limited by safe and efficient delivery of nucleic
acid to the target cells. Poly (d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs) are able to
deliver drugs and genes efficiently. This formulation has several advantages in comparison
with other formulations including improvement in solubility, stability, controlling of degradation
and release of the entrapped agents. For application of PLGA as a gene carrier, there exist
many challenges. PLGA NPs could protect the encapsulated DNA from in vivo degradation
but the DNA release is slow and the negative charge acts as a barrier to DNA incorporation
and delivery. Also, during the preparation process, DNA could be exposed to high shear stress
and organic solvents which could result in its inactivation. Moreover, PLGA NPs could be
modified with different agents to reduce cytotoxicity, to enhance delivery efficiency and to
target specific tissues/cells. This review summarizes different methods used for the preparation
of PLGA NPs as gene carriers and recent strategies for the modification of PLGA particles
applied in gene therapy.
Keywords: PLGA, gene delivery, encapsulation, modification, nanoparticles.
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