Nanogels for Gene Delivery
Gene therapy encompasses the development of proficient and safe vectors, which remains the topmost challenge. Employment of viral vectors is efficient but it is accompanied with safety risks, which highlights the need for non-viral vectors. Currently, several studies are being done on the development of non-viral vectors, which could enhance delivery and uptake of foreign genetic material by target cells, and facilitate their transport to nucleus. Viral vectors are efficient candidates of gene therapy but are limited due to their toxicity, carcinogenesis, immunogenicity, and low target tissue penetration. In order to avoid the risk, the development of non-viral vectors is being explored for gene delivery applications. Among the potent non-viral vectors, hydrogels seem to be promising due to their adapting chemical and three-dimensional structures, mechanical properties, proficient water retaining capacity and biocompatibility. This chapter will highlight the recent developments and potential of nanogels as gene delivery carriers for genetic and clinical applications.