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Synthetic Approaches for Nucleic Acid Delivery: Choosing the Right Carriers

1,2, 1 and 1,*
1
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong 999077, China
2
Institute for Advanced Study, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong 999077, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 May 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling Life-Like Behavior in Systems Chemistry)
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Abstract

The discovery of the genetic roots of various human diseases has motivated the exploration of different exogenous nucleic acids as therapeutic agents to treat these genetic disorders (inherited or acquired). However, the physicochemical properties of nucleic acids render them liable to degradation and also restrict their cellular entrance and gene translation/inhibition at the correct cellular location. Therefore, gene condensation/protection and guided intracellular trafficking are necessary for exogenous nucleic acids to function inside cells. Diversified cationic formulation materials, including natural and synthetic lipids, polymers, and proteins/peptides, have been developed to facilitate the intracellular transportation of exogenous nucleic acids. The chemical properties of different formulation materials determine their special features for nucleic acid delivery, so understanding the property–function correlation of the formulation materials will inspire the development of next-generation gene delivery carriers. Therefore, in this review, we focus on the chemical properties of different types of formulation materials and discuss how these formulation materials function as protectors and cellular pathfinders for nucleic acids, bringing them to their destination by overcoming different cellular barriers. View Full-Text
Keywords: synthetic approach; nucleic acid delivery; intracellular barriers; endosomal escape; nuclear trafficking; synthetic carrier; artificial virus synthetic approach; nucleic acid delivery; intracellular barriers; endosomal escape; nuclear trafficking; synthetic carrier; artificial virus
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Ni, R.; Feng, R.; Chau, Y. Synthetic Approaches for Nucleic Acid Delivery: Choosing the Right Carriers. Life 2019, 9, 59.

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