Polymeric materials have been extensively developed as a delivery vehicle for nucleic acids over the past two decades. Many previous studies have demonstrated that synthetic delivery vehicles can be highly functionalized by chemical approaches to overcome biological barriers in nucleic acid delivery, similar to viruses. Based on our current knowledge, this tutorial review describes rational strategies in the design of polymeric materials to achieve construction of the versatile vehicles, that is "artificial viruses", for successful gene therapy, especially focusing on the chemical structures with the minimal adverse effects.
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