RNA interference technology has become a powerful laboratory tool to study gene function. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have provided unprecedented opportunities for the development of new therapeutics in human diseases. Unfortunately, siRNA duplexes are not optimal drug-like molecules. The problems for their effective application are fundamentally delivery, stability and off-target effects. Chemical modification provides solutions to many of the challenges facing siRNA therapeutics. In this review, we recapitulate and discuss the development of the latest described chemical modifications of siRNAs, with a special focus on novel chemical modifications of siRNA structure, architecture and siRNA conjugates.