Stimuli-responsive polymers in gene delivery

Expert Rev Med Devices. 2005 Jul;2(4):501-9. doi: 10.1586/17434440.2.4.501.


Recent interest in clinical therapy has been directed to deliver nucleic acids (DNA, RNA or short-chain oligonucleotides) that alter gene expression within a specific cell population, thereby manipulating cellular processes and responses, which in turn stimulate immune responses or tissue regeneration, or blocks expression at the level of transcription or translation for treatment of several diseases. Both ex vivo and in vivo gene delivery can be achieved mostly by using a delivery system (vector). Viral vectors exhibit high gene expression, but also have very significant side effects. Mainly cationic polymeric systems are used as nonviral vectors, although usually with low levels of transfection. Through the use of stimuli-responsive polymers as novel vectors for gene delivery, two benefits can be obtained: high gene expression efficiency and more selective gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Transfer Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Genetic Therapy / instrumentation
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Genetic Vectors / administration & dosage
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Humans
  • Polymers / chemistry*


  • Polymers