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Current Designs of Polymeric Platforms Towards the Delivery of Nucleic Acids Inside the Cells with Focus on Polyethylenimine

Author(s):

Fernando A. de Oliveira, Lindomar J. C. Albuquerque, Gwendoline Delecourt, Véronique Bennevault, Philippe Guégan and Fernando C. Giacomelli*   Pages 1 - 21 ( 21 )

Abstract:


Background: Gene delivery is a promising technology for treating diseases linked to abnormal gene expression. Since nucleic acids are the therapeutic entities in such approach, a transfecting vector is required because the macromolecules are not able to efficiently enter the cells by themselves. Viral vectors have been evidenced to be highly effective in this context; however, they suffer from fundamental drawbacks, such as the ability to stimulate immune responses. The development of synthetic vectors has accordingly emerged as an alternative.

Objectives: Gene delivery by using non-viral vectors is a multi-step process that poses many challenges, either regarding the extracellular or intracellular media. We explore the delivery pathway and afterwards, we review the main classes of non-viral gene delivery vectors. We further focus on the progresses concerning polyethylenimine-based polymer-nucleic acid polyplexes, which have emerged as one of the most efficient systems for delivering genetic material inside the cells.

Discussion: The complexity of the whole transfection pathway, along with a lack of fundamental understanding, particularly regarding the intracellular trafficking of nucleic acids complexed to non-viral vectors, probably justifies the current (beginning of 2021) limited number of formulations that have progressed to clinical trials. Truly, successful medical developments still require a lot of basic research.

Conclusion: Advances in macromolecular chemistry and high-resolution imaging techniques will be useful to understand fundamental aspects towards further optimizations and future applications. More investigations concerning the dynamics, thermodynamics and structural parameters of polyplexes would be valuable since they can be connected to the different levels of transfection efficiency hitherto evidenced.

Keywords:

Nanomedicine, gene therapy, gene delivery, non-viral vectors, polymers, polyethylenimine, polyplexes.

Affiliation:

Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas, Universidade Federal do ABC, Santo André, Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas, Universidade Federal do ABC, Santo André, Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire, Equipe Chimie des Polymères, UMR 8232CNRS, Sorbonne University, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex, Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire, Equipe Chimie des Polymères, UMR 8232CNRS, Sorbonne University, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex, Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire, Equipe Chimie des Polymères, UMR 8232CNRS, Sorbonne University, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex, Institut Parisien de Chimie Moléculaire, Equipe Chimie des Polymères, UMR 8232CNRS, Sorbonne University, 4 place Jussieu, 75252 Paris Cedex



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