Muscle electrotransfer covers the delivery of molecules to muscle tissue by means of electric pulses. This method has proven highly efficient in transferring, in particular, plasmid DNA to muscles, resulting in long-term expression of the transferred genes. DNA electrotransfer to muscle tissue has clinical potential within DNA vaccination, systemic delivery of therapeutic proteins and correction of gene defects in muscles. In the recent years, DNA electrotransfer to muscle tissue has reached clinical advancement with 8 on-going clinical trials. In the present review, I will draw on the experiences obtained from the clinical studies, in understanding the mechanistic and practical advantages and limits of muscle electrotransfer. The effect of applying electric pulses to muscle tissue will be described in details, while present and future clinical applications are reviewed.
Keywords: Electroporation, electrotransfer, skeletal muscle, gene therapy, electric pulses, muscle function, systemic secretion, clinical trials, ion exchange
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