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Enhancing Gene Delivery with Nanoparticles Could Ultimately Lead to a Cure for Alzheimer's - A number of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer Disease, may potentially be treated by gene therapy, i.e. the delivery of therapeutic genes to neurons.
Enhancing Gene Delivery with Nanoparticles Could Ultimately Lead to a Cure for Alzheimer's

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, 2006/08/17 - A number of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer Disease, may potentially be treated by gene therapy, i.e. the delivery of therapeutic genes to neurons..

   
 
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Currently, the most common carrier molecules to deliver the therapeutic gene to the patient's target cells are viruses that have been genetically altered to carry normal human DNA. Overall gene delivery efficiency is typically low for nonviral vectors. New research undertaken at The Johns Hopkins University offers a systematic approach to understanding the gene delivery process in neurons and explores the intracellular barriers to nonviral gene delivery and possible ways to improve their effectiveness.

The development of nonviral vectors (the delivery tools) is attractive due to the potential for improved safety, reduced ability to provoke an immune response, ease of manufacturing and scale up, and the ability to accommodate larger DNA molecules compared to viral vectors. However, synthetic systems such as polymer-, lipid- and peptide-based gene carriers are typically much less efficient in delivering genes to primary neurons compared to viral vectors. Thus, identifying bottlenecks to efficient nonviral gene delivery in transfection-resistant neurons and testing of new vectors are priorities.

Much work has been done already to improve gene delivery into central nervous system (CNS) neurons to treat neurodegenerative disorders using various gene delivery systems with several therapeutic agents. Nevertheless, so far there have been no systematic studies investigating the individual intracellular barriers, which should be the guideline for the design of future gene vectors for CNS therapy.

"In our recent study we systematically examined several potential intracellular barriers that may limit the effectiveness of polymeric gene carriers" Professor Justin Hanes from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore explained to Nanowerk.

Read the full article on the Nanowerk website.

About Nanowerk: Nanowerk is a leading nanotechnology information portal. Apart from its unique Nanomaterial Database™, with over 1,300 products from 90 suppliers, it provides the most complete nanotech events calendar; hundreds of links to universities, labs, researchers, associations, networks and international initiatives involved in nanotechnology; daily news; downloadable reports; and much more. The site includes a daily “Spotlight” section featuring Nanowerk-exclusive reviews and summaries of cutting-edge nanotechnology research by guest authors and Nanowerk editors. Nanowerk also publishes the nanoRISK newsletter – a constructive contribution to the debate about the potential risks of nanotechnology.

By Michael Berger, Copyright 2006 Nanowerk LLC

 
 
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Enhancing Gene Delivery with Nanoparticles Could Ultimately Lead to a Cure for Alzheimer's

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Publisher Contact: Michael Berger - Nanowerk.com 
1-808-741-1739 michael[.]nanowerk.com
 
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