Despite their relatively lower efficiency, nonviral approaches are emerging as safer alternatives in gene therapy to viral vectors. Delivery of nucleic acids to the target site is an important factor for effective gene expression (plasmid DNA) or knockdown (siRNA) with minimal side effects. Direct deposition at the target site by physical methods, including ultrasound, electroporation and gene gun, is one approach for local delivery. For less accessible sites, the development of carriers that can home into the target tissue is required. Cationic peptides, lipoplexes, polyplexes and nanoplexes have been used as carriers for delivery of nucleic acids. Targeting ligands, such as cell targeting peptides, have also been applied to decorate delivery vehicles in order to enhance their efficacy. This review focuses on delivery strategies and recent progress in non-viral carriers and their modifications to improve their performance in targeting and transfection.
Keywords: Gene delivery, lipoplexes, nanoplexes, nonviral, polyplexes, peptides, targeting, (plasmid DNA), Cationic peptides, nucleic acids (NAs)
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