The goal of gene therapy is either to introduce a therapeutic gene into or replace a defective gene in an individual's cells and tissues. Gene therapy has been urged as a potential method to induce therapeutic angiogenesis in ischemic myocardium and peripheral tissues after extensive investigation in recent preclinical and clinical studies. A successful gene therapy mainly relies on the development of the gene delivery vector. Developments in viral and non-viral vector technology including cell-based gene transfer will further improve transgene delivery and expression efficiency. Non-viral approaches as alternative gene delivery vehicles to viral vectors have received significant attention. Recently, a simple and safe approach of gene delivery into target cells using naked DNA has been improved by combining several techniques. Among the physical approaches, ultrasonic microbubble gene delivery, with its high safety profile, low costs, and repeatable applicability, can increase the permeability of cell membrane to macromolecules such as plasmid DNA by its bioeffects, and can provide as a feasible tool in gene delivery. On the other hand, among the promising areas for gene therapy in acquired diseases, ischemic cardiovascular diseases have been widely studied. As a result, gene therapy using advanced technology may play an important role in this regard. The aims of this review focus on understanding of the cellular and in vivo barriers in gene transfer and provide an overview of currently used chemical vectors and physical tools that are applied in non-viral gene transfer.
- gene therapy
- Copyright © 2012, American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology