Gene therapy is an attractive treatment option for diseases of genetic origin, including several cancers and cardiovascular diseases. While viruses are effective vectors for delivering exogenous genes to cells, concerns related to insertional mutagenesis, immunogenicity, lack of tropism, decay and high production costs necessitate the discovery of non-viral methods. Significant efforts have been focused on cationic polymers as non-viral alternatives for gene delivery. Recent studies have employed combinatorial syntheses and parallel screening methods for enhancing the efficacy of gene delivery, biocompatibility of the delivery vehicle, and overcoming cellular level barriers as they relate to polymermediated transgene uptake, transport, transcription, and expression. This review summarizes and discusses recent advances in combinatorial syntheses and parallel screening of cationic polymer libraries for the discovery of efficient and safe gene delivery systems.
Keywords: Parallel screening, polymer library, transfection, gene delivery, transgene expression, cytotoxicity, gene therapy, complex biological barriers, physicochemical diversities, DNA binding efficacy, biodegradability
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