Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 2013, 65(15): 2023–2033
Carbon nanotubes as vectors for gene therapy: Past achievements, present challenges and future goals
Promising therapeutic and prophylactic effects have been achieved following advances in the gene therapy research arena, giving birth to the new generation of disease-modifying therapeutics. The greatest challenge that gene therapy vectors still face is the ability to deliver sufﬁcient genetic payloads in order to enable efﬁcient gene transfer into target cells. A wide variety of viral and non-viral gene therapy vectors have been developed and explored over the past 10 years, including carbon nanotubes. In this review we will address the application of carbon nanotubes as non-viral vectors in gene therapy with the aim to give a perspective on the past achievements, present challenges and future goals. A series of important topics concerning carbon nanotubes as gene therapy vectors will be addressed, including the beneﬁts that carbon nanotubes offer over other non-viral delivery systems. Furthermore, a perspective is given on what the ideal genetic cargo to deliver using carbon nanotubes is and ﬁnally the geno-pharmacological impact of carbon nanotube-mediated gene therapy is discussed.