Nonviral gene delivery: principle, limitations, and recent progress.
Gene therapy is becoming a promising therapeutic modality for the treatment of genetic and acquired disorders. Nonviral approaches as alternative gene transfer vehicles to the popular viral vectors have received significant attention because of their favorable properties, including lack of immunogenicity, low toxicity, and potential for tissue specificity. Such approaches have been tested in preclinical studies and human clinical trials over the last decade. Although therapeutic benefit has been demonstrated in animal models, gene delivery efficiency of the nonviral approaches remains to be a key obstacle for clinical applications. This review focuses on existing and emerging concepts of chemical and physical methods for delivery of therapeutic nucleic acid molecules in vivo. The emphasis is placed on discussion about problems associated with current nonviral methods and recent efforts toward refinement of nonviral approaches.