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Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2014 Jul 11;16:347-70. doi: 10.1146/annurev-bioeng-071813-105119. Epub 2014 Jun 2.

Recent advances in nanoparticle-mediated siRNA delivery.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.


Inhibiting specific gene expression by short interfering RNA (siRNA) offers a new therapeutic strategy to tackle many diseases, including cancer, metabolic disorders, and viral infections, at the molecular level. The macromolecular and polar nature of siRNA hinders its cellular access to exert its effect. Nanoparticulate delivery systems can promote efficient intracellular delivery. Despite showing promise in many preclinical studies and potential in some clinical trials, siRNA has poor delivery efficiency, which continues to demand innovations, from carrier design to formulation, in order to overcome transport barriers. Previous findings for optimal plasmid DNA delivery cannot be generalized to siRNA delivery owing to significant discrepancy in size and subtle differences in chain flexibility between the two types of nucleic acids. In this review, we highlight the recent advances in improving the stability of siRNA nanoparticles, understanding their intracellular trafficking and release mechanisms, and applying judiciously the promising formulations to disease models.


gene therapy; intracellular trafficking; nanoparticle; siRNA delivery; stability

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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