Background: Recent advances in nanotechnology and gene therapy have created new avenues for therapeutics. However, only a few studies have combined these successful systems for biomedical applications. This review presents an overview of currently available nanoparticle-vector hybrid delivery strategies, the challenges and potential solutions to their widespread use.
Methods: A comprehesive analysis of literarure on the subject was carried out to identify viral vectors that have been coupled with nanomaterials. The outocome of various studies have been depicted with key aspects on their structure and functionality illustrated.
Results: Gene delivery strategies using viral vectors or nanoparticles have been used extensively to deliver functional genes to many target issues. The hybrid vector systems offer immense potential in terms of their abilities to deliver more than one transgene, evade host immune response by potential masking of the immunogenic epitopes on the viral vectors and a sustained release mechanism in the target tissue. However, it is also imperative to understand that the development of such hybrid systems requires extensive knowledge of virus structure and the ability to understand the effect of nanoparticle coating on the physio-chemical properties of the vectors.
Conclusion: Combination of viral and nanoparticle delivery vehicles will require an optimal ratio of nanomaterial with vector to preserve their individual characteristics and still achieve optimal tissue targeting and gene delivery. In addition, the long-term survival of such hybrid systems in the host depends on a rapid yet sustained release of their cargo and avoidance of host immune surveillance.