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Gemini Surfactants: A New Family of Building Blocks for Non-Viral Gene Delivery Systems

[ Vol. 8 , Issue. 1 ]


Shawn D. Wettig, Ronald E. Verrall and Marianna Foldvari   Pages 9 - 23 ( 15 )


Gemini surfactants provide a significant opportunity in the development of new non-viral delivery systems designed for gene therapy applications. This review summarizes the wide range of gemini surfactant structures that have been employed for DNA transfection in vitro. A general observation is that those structures capable of inducing a wide variety of polymorphic structures (lamellar, hexagonal, or cubic phases) demonstrate higher transfection efficiencies. Those compounds whose structures result in pH-dependent changes in aggregate structure similarly show higher levels of transfection. In vivo transfection using gemini surfactants has been demonstrated in only three cases, and in a recent study the transfection was linked to a specific therapeutic response.


Gene therapy, gemini surfactant, non-viral, transfection, delivery system, in vivo, in vitro


Canada Research Chair inBionanotechnology and Nanomedicine, School of Pharmacy, University ofWaterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1.

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