Nanocarriers: A Novel Strategy for Cell and Gene Delivery

A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923). This special issue belongs to the section "Gene and Cell Therapy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 July 2024 | Viewed by 7957

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), 123 St. Stephens Green, D02 YN77 Dublin, Ireland
2. School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College, D02 PN40 Dublin, Ireland
Interests: inhalation drug delivery; nebulization; pulmonary drug delivery; nanoparticles; respiratory diseases; inflammatory diseases
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Guest Editor
1. Department of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
2. Department of Cell and Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran
Interests: nano-drug delivery; nanoparticles; smart nanocarriers; cancer

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to contribute to a Special Issue of Pharmaceutics titled “Nanocarriers: A Novel Strategy for Cell and Gene Delivery”.

In the last two decades, nanotechnology has made significant contributions to the fight against various diseases, including cancers, infections, immune diseases, and inflammatory diseases. Nano-drug delivery systems have been shown to be a promising strategy by which common challenges in relation to the treatment of diseases can be tackled. Nanocarriers have been designed to enhance the accumulation of drug compounds in specific disease sites while limiting exposure to healthy tissues, thus reducing the dose to be administered to the patient and thereby the risk of side effects. This has consequently become a fast-growing field with numerous medical and therapeutic applications owing to their intrinsic ability to overcome the current challenges associated with traditional therapeutic agents, including poor specificity and high systemic toxicity.

This Special Issue aims to discuss the recent research progress of innovative nanotechnology for drug delivery, including the design, preparation, and applications in various diseases. We believe this Special issue is a valuable resource for academics who are actively involved in nano-drug delivery. In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Multi-responsive targeted nanocarriers
  • Stimuli-responsive nanoparticles
  • Endogenous-triggered nanodrug delivery systems
  • Exogenous-triggered nanodrug delivery systems
  • Targeted nanodrug delivery systems
  • Inorganic and organic nanodrug delivery systems

I/We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Ronan MacLoughlin
Dr. Mohammad Doroudian
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceutics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nano-drug delivery systems
  • smart nanoparticles
  • targeted therapy
  • responsive nanocarriers

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 4324 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Nucleic Acid-Binding Polymers as Potential Anti-Inflammatory Nanocarriers
by Divya Bhansali, Tolulope Akinade, Tianyu Li, Yiling Zhong, Feng Liu, Hanyao Huang, Zhaoxu Tu, Elsie A. Devey, Yuefei Zhu, Dane D. Jensen and Kam W. Leong
Pharmaceutics 2024, 16(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics16010010 - 20 Dec 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
Conventionally, nanocarriers are used to regulate the controlled release of therapeutic payloads. Increasingly, they can also be designed to have an intrinsic therapeutic effect. For example, a positively charged nanocarrier can bind damage-associated molecular patterns, inhibiting toll-like receptor (TLR) pathway activation and thus [...] Read more.
Conventionally, nanocarriers are used to regulate the controlled release of therapeutic payloads. Increasingly, they can also be designed to have an intrinsic therapeutic effect. For example, a positively charged nanocarrier can bind damage-associated molecular patterns, inhibiting toll-like receptor (TLR) pathway activation and thus modulating inflammation. These nucleic acid-binding nanomaterials (NABNs), which scavenge pro-inflammatory stimuli, exist in diverse forms, ranging from soluble polymers to nanoparticles and 2D nanosheets. Unlike conventional drugs that primarily address inflammation symptoms, these NABPs target the upstream inflammation initiation pathway by removing the agonists responsible for inflammation. Many NABNs have demonstrated effectiveness in murine models of inflammatory diseases. However, these scavengers have not been systematically studied and compared within a single setting. Herein, we screen a subset of the most potent NABNs to define their relative efficiency in scavenging cell-free nucleic acids and inhibiting various TLR pathways. This study helps interpret existing in vivo results and provides insights into the future design of anti-inflammatory nanocarriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocarriers: A Novel Strategy for Cell and Gene Delivery)
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15 pages, 3058 KiB  
Article
Fluorinated Cell-Penetrating Peptide for Co-Delivering siHIF-1α and Sorafenib to Enhance In Vitro Anti-Tumor Efficacy
by Yu Wan, Yuhan Yang, Qiuyue Lai, Wangxia Wang, Mingyu Wu and Shun Feng
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(12), 2789; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15122789 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 958
Abstract
Antiangiogenic therapy with sorafenib (SF) alone is ineffective in eradicating tumors, and its long-term application can exacerbate tumor hypoxia, which in turn restricts SF’s therapeutic efficacy. Here, a redox-responsive fluorinated peptide (DEN-TAT-PFC) consisting of dendritic poly-lysine, cell-penetrating peptide TAT, and perfluorocarbon was designed [...] Read more.
Antiangiogenic therapy with sorafenib (SF) alone is ineffective in eradicating tumors, and its long-term application can exacerbate tumor hypoxia, which in turn restricts SF’s therapeutic efficacy. Here, a redox-responsive fluorinated peptide (DEN-TAT-PFC) consisting of dendritic poly-lysine, cell-penetrating peptide TAT, and perfluorocarbon was designed and synthesized to co-load siRNA-targeting hypoxia-inducible factors (siHIF-1α) and SF. The unique architecture of the peptide and fluorinated modifications enhanced the siRNA delivery efficiency, including increased siRNA binding, GSH-responsive release, cellular uptake, endosomal escape, and serum resistance. Simultaneously, the DEN-TAT-PFC/SF/siHIF-1α co-delivery system achieved efficient knockdown of HIF-1α at mRNA and protein levels, thus alleviating hypoxia and further substantially reducing VEGF expression. Additionally, the excellent oxygen-carrying ability of DEN-TAT-PFC may facilitate relief of the hypoxic microenvironment. As a result of these synergistic effects, DEN-TAT-PFC/SF/siHIF-1α exhibited considerable anti-tumor cell proliferation and anti-angiogenesis effects. Therefore, DEN-TAT-PFC can be a versatile platform for fabricating fluorine-containing drugs/siRNA complex nano-systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocarriers: A Novel Strategy for Cell and Gene Delivery)
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Review

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16 pages, 5552 KiB  
Review
Engineering Nanomedicine for Non-Viral RNA-Based Gene Therapy of Glioblastoma
by Wenya He, Ningyang Wang, Yaping Wang, Mengyao Liu, Qian Qing, Qihang Su, Yan Zou and Yang Liu
Pharmaceutics 2024, 16(4), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics16040482 - 01 Apr 2024
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common type of malignant tumor of the central nervous system, characterized by aggressiveness, genetic instability, heterogenesis, and unpredictable clinical behavior. Disappointing results from the current clinical therapeutic methods have fueled a search for new therapeutic targets and [...] Read more.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common type of malignant tumor of the central nervous system, characterized by aggressiveness, genetic instability, heterogenesis, and unpredictable clinical behavior. Disappointing results from the current clinical therapeutic methods have fueled a search for new therapeutic targets and treatment modalities. GBM is characterized by various genetic alterations, and RNA-based gene therapy has raised particular attention in GBM therapy. Here, we review the recent advances in engineered non-viral nanocarriers for RNA drug delivery to treat GBM. Therapeutic strategies concerning the brain-targeted delivery of various RNA drugs involving siRNA, microRNA, mRNA, ASO, and short-length RNA and the therapeutical mechanisms of these drugs to tackle the challenges of chemo-/radiotherapy resistance, recurrence, and incurable stem cell-like tumor cells of GBM are herein outlined. We also highlight the progress, prospects, and remaining challenges of non-viral nanocarriers-mediated RNA-based gene therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocarriers: A Novel Strategy for Cell and Gene Delivery)
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23 pages, 10449 KiB  
Review
Lipid Nanoparticles as Promising Carriers for mRNA Vaccines for Viral Lung Infections
by Mena Hajiaghapour Asr, Fatemeh Dayani, Fatemeh Saedi Segherloo, Ali Kamedi, Andrew O’ Neill, Ronan MacLoughlin and Mohammad Doroudian
Pharmaceutics 2023, 15(4), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics15041127 - 03 Apr 2023
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4776
Abstract
In recent years, there has been an increase in deaths due to infectious diseases, most notably in the context of viral respiratory pathogens. Consequently, the focus has shifted in the search for new therapies, with attention being drawn to the use of nanoparticles [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been an increase in deaths due to infectious diseases, most notably in the context of viral respiratory pathogens. Consequently, the focus has shifted in the search for new therapies, with attention being drawn to the use of nanoparticles in mRNA vaccines for targeted delivery to improve the efficacy of these vaccines. Notably, mRNA vaccine technologies denote as a new era in vaccination due to their rapid, potentially inexpensive, and scalable development. Although they do not pose a risk of integration into the genome and are not produced from infectious elements, they do pose challenges, including exposing naked mRNAs to extracellular endonucleases. Therefore, with the development of nanotechnology, we can further improve their efficacy. Nanoparticles, with their nanometer dimensions, move more freely in the body and, due to their small size, have unique physical and chemical properties. The best candidates for vaccine mRNA transfer are lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), which are stable and biocompatible and contain four components: cationic lipids, ionizable lipids, polyethylene glycols (PEGs), and cholesterol, which are used to facilitate cytoplasmic mRNA delivery. In this article, the components and delivery system of mRNA-LNP vaccines against viral lung infections such as influenza, coronavirus, and respiratory syncytial virus are reviewed. Moreover, we provide a succinct overview of current challenges and potential future directions in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocarriers: A Novel Strategy for Cell and Gene Delivery)
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