Chapter 19

Lipid-based synthetic gene carriers

Nily Dan    Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, United States

Abstract

Gene therapy and gene silencing techniques are based on the insertion of nucleic acids (DNA or siRNA) into cells, with the goal of inducing therapeutic changes in cell functions. The need for carriers to facilitate this transfection process led to the study of lipid-nucleic acid assemblies, such as lipoplexes. The efficacy of lipoplexes is linked to their structure: the local, nanoscale structure of lipoplexes is an equilibrium feature, determined by lipid properties and complex composition. Larger-scale characteristics are, however, controlled by the assembly route and kinetics. This chapter reviews the equilibrium properties ...

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