Enhancement of dermal and epidermal regeneration represents a crucial goal for the treatment of acute, e.g. burn and trauma wounds, and chronic wounds, e.g. diabetic, autoimmune, arterial and venous wounds. Studies defining molecular mechanisms of the complex cascade of wound healing have shown that growth factors represent a new therapeutic strategy. The clinical application of growth factors in the form of proteins has been shown to be of little benefit. Therefore new delivery systems and therapeutic strategies needed to be developed to improve dermal and epidermal regeneration, one of which is gene therapy. For successful gene delivery the selection of an appropriate vector has been shown to be paramount. Because Retroviruses, Adenoviruses and Adeno-Associated Viruses can cause immunologic reactions and mutations, non-viral delivery systems for gene therapy, such as liposomal gene transfer appear advantageous over viral gene therapy. This review discusses the success, potential and limitations of non-viral gene transfer to improve regeneration of dermal and epidermal structures.
Keywords: Liposomes, dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine, Naked cDNA, Gene gun, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)
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