Nanoparticles used to successfully deliver gene therapy (Science Blog)
- A gene therapy method that doesn't rely on potentially toxic viruses as vectors may be growing closer as the result of in vitro research results reported by University at Buffalo scientists in the current online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper, which describes the successful uptake of a fluorescent gene by cells using novel nanoparticles developed as DNA carriers at UB, demonstrates that the nanoparticles ultimately may prove an efficient and desirable alternative vector to viruses.
Using confocal microscopy and fluorescent spectroscopy, the UB scientists tracked optically in real-time the process known as transfection, including the delivery of genes into cells, the uptake of genes by the nucleus and their expression.
"We have shown that using photonics, the gene-therapy transfer can be monitored, tracking how the nanoparticle penetrates the cell and releases its DNA in the nucleus," explained Paras N. Prasad, Ph.D., executive director of the UB Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry in the University at Buffalo's College of Arts and Sciences, and a co-author of the paper. More here
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