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Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2004 Jan;57(1):1-8.

Chitosan-DNA nanoparticles as non-viral vectors in gene therapy: strategies to improve transfection efficacy.

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Laboratoire de Recherche en Orthopédie, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur, Montreal, Québec, Canada.


Currently, the major drawback of gene therapy is the gene transfection rate. The two main types of vectors that are used in gene therapy are based on viral or non-viral gene delivery systems. The viral gene delivery system shows a high transfection yield but it has many disadvantages, such as oncogenic effects and immunogenicity. However, cationic polymers, like chitosan, have potential for DNA complexation and may be useful as non-viral vectors for gene therapy applications. Chitosan is a natural non-toxic polysaccharide, it is biodegradable and biocompatible, and protects DNA against DNase degradation and leads to its condensation. The objective of this paper was to summarize the state of the art in gene therapy and particularly the use of chitosan to improve the transfection efficiency in vivo and in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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