Low Molecular Weight Chitosan (LMWC)-based Polyplexes for pDNA Delivery: From Bench to Bedside
Agirre Díez, Mireia
Zarate Sesma, Jon
Puras Ochoa, Gustavo
Pedraz Muñoz, José Luis
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Polymers 6(6) : 1727-1755 (2014)
Non-viral gene delivery vectors are emerging as a safer alternative to viral vectors. Among natural polymers, chitosan (Ch) is the most studied one, and low molecular weight Ch, specifically, presents a wide range of advantages for non-viral pDNA delivery. It is crucial to determine the best process for the formation of Low Molecular Weight Chitosan (LMWC)-pDNA complexes and to characterize their physicochemical properties to better understand their behavior once the polyplexes are administered. The transfection efficiency of Ch based polyplexes is relatively low. Therefore, it is essential to understand all the transfection process, including the cellular uptake, endosomal escape and nuclear import, together with the parameters involved in the process to improve the design and development of the non-viral vectors. The aim of this review is to describe the formation and characterization of LMWC based polyplexes, the in vitro transfection process and finally, the in vivo applications of LMWC based polyplexes for gene therapy purposes.