Bradycardia arising from pacemaker dysfunction can be debilitating and life threatening. Electronic pacemakers serve as effective treatment options for pacemaker dysfunction. They however present their own limitations and complications. This has motivated research into discovering more effective and innovative ways to treat pacemaker dysfunction. Gene therapy is being explored for its potential to treat various cardiac conditions including cardiac arrhythmias. Gene transfer vectors with increasing transduction efficiency and biosafety have been developed and trialed for cardiovascular disease treatment. With an improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms driving pacemaker development, several gene therapy targets have been identified to generate the phenotypic changes required to correct pacemaker dysfunction. This review will discuss the gene therapy vectors in use today along with methods for their delivery. Furthermore, it will evaluate several gene therapy strategies attempting to restore biological pacing, having the potential to emerge as viable therapies for pacemaker dysfunction.
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