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Title: Biodegradable polymers for gene-delivery applications
Authors: Chen, CK
Huang, PK
Law, W 
Chu, CH
Chen, NT
Lo, LW
Issue Date: 2020
Source: International journal of nanomedicine, 30 Mar. 2020, v. 15, p. 2131-2150
Abstract: Gene-based therapies have emerged as a new modality for combating a myriad of currently incurable diseases. However, the fragile nature of gene therapeutics has significantly hampered their biomedical applications. Correspondingly, the development of gene-delivery vectors is of critical importance for gene-based therapies. To date, a variety of gene-delivery vectors have been created and utilized for gene delivery. In general, they can be categorized into viral- and non-viral vectors. Due to safety issues associated with viral vectors, non-viral vectors have recently attracted much more research focus. Of these non-viral vectors, polymeric vectors, which have been preferred due to their low immunogenicity, ease of production, controlled chemical composition and high chemical versatility, have constituted an ideal alternative to viral vectors. In particular, biodegradable polymers, which possess advantageous biocompatibility and biosafety, have been considered to have great potential in clinical applications. In this context, the aim of this review is to introduce the recent development and progress of biodegradable polymers for gene delivery applications, especially for their chemical structure design, gene delivery capacity and additional biological functions. Accordingly, we first define and categorize biodegradable polymers, followed by describing their corresponding degradation mechanisms. Various types of biodegradable polymers resulting from natural and synthetic polymers will be introduced and their applications in gene delivery will be examined. Finally, a future perspective regarding the development of biodegradable polymer vectors will be given.
Keywords: Gene therapy
Gene delivery
Non-viral vectors
Polymeric vectors
Biodegradable polymers
Publisher: Dove Medical Press
Journal: International journal of nanomedicine 
ISSN: 1176-9114
EISSN: 1178-2013
DOI: 10.2147/IJN.S222419
Rights: © 2020 Chen et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution–Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the workyou hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. Forpermission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (
The following publication Chen CK, Huang PK, Law WC, Chu CH, Chen NT, Lo LW. Biodegradable Polymers for Gene-Delivery Applications. Int J Nanomedicine. 2020;15:2131-2150 is available at
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