Design Considerations for Properties of Nanocarriers on Disposition and Efficiency of Drug and Gene Delivery
The delivery of drugs or genetic material into cells is one of the emerging areas of biotechnology. Nanoparticle (NP)-based drug carriers are especially interesting due to their ability to deliver drugs inside target cells, thereby reducing the side-effects of non-specific treatments. Among the various cargoes that are transportable by NPs, genetic material allows the reprogramming of cells both temporarily as well as permanently. Several approaches are available for gene delivery, such as the use of natural vectors, like modified viruses, or artificial ones, in the form of liposomes or peptidic complexes. Among the key consideration for designing NPs to effectively overcome biological barriers are their physicochemical properties and effects they produce in living organism. This chapter discusses how the properties of nanocarriers can affect the biological response as well as the functionality of drug and gene delivery systems.