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12/04/2013 (Added to site)
Author(s): Mellott, A. J.; Forrest, M. L.; Detamore, M. S.

Physical Non-Viral Gene Delivery Methods for Tissue Engineering

Journal: Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 41/3 (2013), pp. 446-468
DOI: 10.1007/s10439-012-0678-1
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Abstract: The integration of gene therapy into tissue engineering to control differentiation and direct tissue formation is not a new concept; however, successful delivery of nucleic acids into primary cells, progenitor cells, and stem cells has proven exceptionally challenging. Viral vectors are generally highly effective at delivering nucleic acids to a variety of cell populations, both dividing and non-dividing, yet these viral vectors are marred by significant safety concerns. Non-viral vectors are preferred for gene therapy, despite lower transfection efficiencies, and possess many customizable attributes that are desirable for tissue engineering applications. However, there is no single non-viral gene delivery strategy that "fits-all" cell types and tissues. Thus, there is a compelling opportunity to examine different non-viral vectors, especially physical vectors, and compare their relative degrees of success. This review examines the advantages and disadvantages of physical non-viral methods (i.e., microinjection, ballistic gene delivery, electroporation, sonoporation, laser irradiation, magnetofection, and electric field-induced molecular vibration), with particular attention given to electroporation because of its versatility, with further special emphasis on Nucleofection (TM). In addition, attributes of cellular character that can be used to improve differentiation strategies are examined for tissue engineering applications. Ultimately, electroporation exhibits a high transfection efficiency in many cell types, which is highly desirable for tissue engineering applications, but electroporation and other physical non-viral gene delivery methods are still limited by poor cell viability. Overcoming the challenge of poor cell viability in highly efficient physical non-viral techniques is the key to using gene delivery to enhance tissue engineering applications.



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