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Self-Assembling Nucleic Acid Delivery Vehicles via Linear, Water-Soluble, Cyclodextrin-Containing Polymers

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Non-viral (synthetic) nucleic acid delivery systems have the potential to provide for the practical application of nucleic acid-based therapeutics. We have designed and prepared a tunable, non-viral nucleic acid delivery system that self-assembles with nucleic acids and centers around a new class of polymeric materials; namely, linear, water-soluble cyclodextrin-containing polymers. The relationships between polymer structure and gene delivery are illustrated, and the roles of the cyclodextrin moieties for minimizing toxicity and forming inclusion complexes in the self-assembly processes are highlighted. This vehicle is the first example of a polymer-based gene delivery system formed entirely by self-assembly.

Keywords: cyclodextrin-polymers; gene delivery; non-viral delivery; nucleic acid delivery; self-assembly; supramolecular structures

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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