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Advances in the Development of Virus-Like Particles as Tools in Medicine and Nanoscience

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Virus-like particles (VLPs) are viral coats formed by the self-assembly of the components of viruses excluding their genetic material. These particles may be used as vectors to transport molecules chemically attached on the VLP surface, or as vessels for the systemic delivery of pharmacologically important molecules as drugs, siRNAs, genes, mRNAs, magnetic nanoparticles, quantum dots and other medical-imaging aids. Herein we review the recent advances in heterologous production and purification of VLPs, the current trends in chemical modification of VLPs, and the advances on the application of VLPs as vectors, tools for medical imaging and materials for nanotechnology.

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Keywords: Virus-like particles; drug delivery; gene delivery; imaging; nanomaterials; nanomedicine

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Current Chemical Biology aims to publish full-length and mini reviews on exciting new developments at the chemistry-biology interface, covering topics relating to Chemical Synthesis, Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface and Chemical Mechanisms of Biological Systems.

    Current Chemical Biology covers the following areas: Chemical Synthesis (Syntheses of biologically important macromolecules including proteins, polypeptides, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides etc.; Asymmetric synthesis; Combinatorial synthesis; Diversity-oriented synthesis; Template-directed synthesis; Biomimetic synthesis; Solid phase biomolecular synthesis; Synthesis of small biomolecules: amino acids, peptides, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleosides; and Natural product synthesis).

    Science at Chemistry-Biology Interface (Chemical informatics; Macromolecular catalysts and receptors; Enzymatic synthesis; Biosynthetic engineering; Combinatorial biosynthesis; Plant cell based chemistry; Bacterial and viral cell based chemistry; Chemistry of cellular processes in plants/animals; Receptor chemistry; Cell signaling chemistry; Drug design through understanding of disease processes; Synthetic biology; New high throughput screening techniques; Small molecular array fabrication; Chemical genomics; Chemical and biological approaches to carbohydrates proteins and nucleic acids design; Chemical and biological regulation of biosynthetic pathways; and Unnatural biomolecular analogs).
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