Special Issue "Nanomaterials in Gene Therapy"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Fani Sousa

Universidade da Beira Interior, Health Sciences Research Centre, Covilha, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biopharmaceuticals; plasmid DNA, minicircle DNA and RNA; gene therapy; gene silencing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanomaterials presents the Special Issue, “Nanomaterials in Gene Therapy”, which intends to present the most innovative materials, approaches, and technologies under development to bring Gene Therapy to clinical reality. There are several challenges in this field, but the latest advances show that both efficacy and safety can be achieved.

Gene Therapy’s success is highly dependent on the efficient delivery of genetic material to the cells, which motivates the design, development, optimization, and establishment of novel concepts and materials to improve gene delivery and therapy. In line with this, the original research papers of this Special Issue will focus on new materials, designs, and functionalization strategies under evaluation, to guarantee the genetic material stability and improve encapsulation and delivery to the targets. Gathering all this information, new insights and future perspectives about Nanomaterials in Gene Therapy will arise.

Dr. Fani Sousa
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nanomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nanomaterials
  • Gene Therapy
  • Nonviral Vectors
  • Carrier Systems
  • Targeted Delivery
  • Nucleic Acids Encapsulation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Review

Open AccessReview
Trigger-Responsive Gene Transporters for Anticancer Therapy
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(6), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7060120
Received: 3 April 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (4170 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the current era of gene delivery, trigger-responsive nanoparticles for the delivery of exogenous nucleic acids, such as plasmid DNA (pDNA), mRNA, siRNAs, and miRNAs, to cancer cells have attracted considerable interest. The cationic gene transporters commonly used are typically in the form [...] Read more.
In the current era of gene delivery, trigger-responsive nanoparticles for the delivery of exogenous nucleic acids, such as plasmid DNA (pDNA), mRNA, siRNAs, and miRNAs, to cancer cells have attracted considerable interest. The cationic gene transporters commonly used are typically in the form of polyplexes, lipoplexes or mixtures of both, and their gene transfer efficiency in cancer cells depends on several factors, such as cell binding, intracellular trafficking, buffering capacity for endosomal escape, DNA unpacking, nuclear transportation, cell viability, and DNA protection against nucleases. Some of these factors influence other factors adversely, and therefore, it is of critical importance that these factors are balanced. Recently, with the advancements in contemporary tools and techniques, trigger-responsive nanoparticles with the potential to overcome their intrinsic drawbacks have been developed. This review summarizes the mechanisms and limitations of cationic gene transporters. In addition, it covers various triggers, such as light, enzymes, magnetic fields, and ultrasound (US), used to enhance the gene transfer efficiency of trigger-responsive gene transporters in cancer cells. Furthermore, the challenges associated with and future directions in developing trigger-responsive gene transporters for anticancer therapy are discussed briefly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Gene Therapy)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview
Recent Advances in Nanomaterials for Gene Delivery—A Review
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(5), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7050094
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
Cited by 43 | PDF Full-text (2445 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the rapid development of nanotechnology in the recent decade, novel DNA and RNA delivery systems for gene therapy have become available that can be used instead of viral vectors. These non-viral vectors can be made of a variety of materials, including inorganic [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of nanotechnology in the recent decade, novel DNA and RNA delivery systems for gene therapy have become available that can be used instead of viral vectors. These non-viral vectors can be made of a variety of materials, including inorganic nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, liposomes, protein and peptide-based nanoparticles, as well as nanoscale polymeric materials. They have as advantages over viral vectors a decreased immune response, and additionally offer flexibility in design, allowing them to be functionalized and targeted to specific sites in a biological system with low cytotoxicity. The focus of this review is to provide an overview of novel nanotechnology-based methods to deliver DNA and small interfering RNAs into biological systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Gene Therapy)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview
siRNA Delivery Strategies: A Comprehensive Review of Recent Developments
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7040077
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
Cited by 61 | PDF Full-text (4808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
siRNA is a promising therapeutic solution to address gene overexpression or mutations as a post-transcriptional gene regulation process for several pathological conditions such as viral infections, cancer, genetic disorders, and autoimmune disorders like arthritis. This therapeutic method is currently being actively pursued in [...] Read more.
siRNA is a promising therapeutic solution to address gene overexpression or mutations as a post-transcriptional gene regulation process for several pathological conditions such as viral infections, cancer, genetic disorders, and autoimmune disorders like arthritis. This therapeutic method is currently being actively pursued in cancer therapy because siRNA has been found to suppress the oncogenes and address mutations in tumor suppressor genes and elucidate the key molecules in cellular pathways in cancer. It is also effective in personalized gene therapy for several diseases due to its specificity, adaptability, and broad targeting capability. However, naked siRNA is unstable in the bloodstream and cannot efficiently cross cell membranes besides being immunogenic. Therefore, careful design of the delivery systems is essential to fully utilize the potential of this therapeutic solution. This review presents a comprehensive update on the challenges of siRNA delivery and the current strategies used to develop nanoparticulate delivery systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials in Gene Therapy)
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