Non-viral gene delivery and therapeutics targeting to brain

Yang Liu, Rongqin Huang, Chen Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) exerts its central nervous system (CNS) protective function as it hinders the delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents to the brain. Gene therapy could be applied in conquering brain diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases and brain tumors by up- or down-regulating expression of diseased proteins. With the development of nanotechnology during the last thirty years, the nanocarriers for delivering drugs including gene medicines make it possible to transport drugs across the BBB. The nonviral nano-scaled gene delivery systems hold great promise for treating brain diseases due to their safety and convenience. Several brain targeting strategies, such as adsorptive- and receptor-mediated pathways have been developed to improve the brain targeting efficiency of non-viral gene delivery systems. In this review, the non-viral nanocarriers are focused for gene delivery and several possible strategies are discussed to achieve brain targeting effects. Finally, the applications of gene therapy in several brain diseases will be introduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-70
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Nanoscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Brain-targeting
  • Gene therapy
  • Nanoparticles
  • Non-viral gene delivery
  • Receptor-mediated endocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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