Nanoparticulate systems for polynucleotide delivery

Int J Nanomedicine. 2007;2(3):353-60.


Nanotechnology has tremendously influenced gene therapy research in recent years. Nanometer-size systems have been extensively investigated for delivering genes at both local and systemic levels. These systems offer several advantages in terms of tissue penetrability, cellular uptake, systemic circulation, and cell targeting as compared to larger systems. They can protect the polynucleotide from a variety of degradative and destabilizing factors and enhance delivery efficiency to the cells. A variety of polymeric and non-polymeric nanoparticles have been investigated in an effort to maximize the delivery efficiency while minimizing the toxic effects. This article provides a review on the most commonly used nanoparticulate systems for gene delivery. We have discussed frequently used polymers, such as, polyethyleneimine, poly (lactide-co-glycolide), chitosan, as well as non-polymeric materials such as cationic lipids and metallic nanoparticles. The advantages and limitations of each system have been elaborated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical / trends
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Gene Targeting / methods
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Nanomedicine / trends
  • Nanostructures / administration & dosage*
  • Nanostructures / chemistry*
  • Polynucleotides / administration & dosage*
  • Polynucleotides / chemistry*
  • Transfection / methods*


  • Drug Carriers
  • Polynucleotides