Virus-like particles (VLPs) are viral coats formed by the self-assembly of the components of viruses excluding their genetic material. These particles may be used as vectors to transport molecules chemically attached on the VLP surface, or as vessels for the systemic delivery of pharmacologically important molecules as drugs, siRNAs, genes, mRNAs, magnetic nanoparticles, quantum dots and other medical-imaging aids. Herein we review the recent advances in heterologous production and purification of VLPs, the current trends in chemical modification of VLPs, and the advances on the application of VLPs as vectors, tools for medical imaging and materials for nanotechnology.
Keywords: Virus-like particles, nanomaterials, nanomedicine, drug delivery, gene delivery, imaging
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