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Med Res Rev. 2007 Sep;27(5):696-722.

Cationic liposomes as non-viral carriers of gene medicines: resolved issues, open questions, and future promises.

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Division of Lipid Science and Technology, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad-500 007, India.


The clinical success of gene therapy is critically dependent on the development of efficient and safe gene delivery reagents, popularly known as "transfection vectors." The transfection vectors commonly used in gene therapy are mainly of two types: viral and non-viral. The efficiencies of viral transfection vectors are, in general, superior to their non-viral counterparts. However, the myriads of potentially adverse immunogenic aftermaths associated with the use of viral vectors are increasingly making the non-viral gene delivery reagents as the vectors of choice. Among the existing arsenal of non-viral gene delivery reagents, the distinct advantages associated with the use of cationic transfection lipids include their: (a) robust manufacture; (b) ease in handling and preparation techniques; (c) ability to inject large lipid:DNA complexes; and (d) low immunogenic response. The present review highlights the major achievements in the area of designing efficacious cationic transfection lipids, some of the more recent advances in the field of cationic liposomes-mediated gene transfer and targeted gene delivery, some unresolved issues and challenges in liposomal gene delivery, and future promises of cationic liposomes as gene-carriers in non-viral gene therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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