Carbon nanotubes as vectors for gene therapy: Past achievements, present challenges and future goals

Katie Bates, Kostas Kostarelos

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2023-2033
    Number of pages10
    JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
    Issue number15
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


    • Antisense oligonucleotides
    • Aptamers
    • Carbon nanotubes
    • Gene therapy
    • Genetic cargo
    • MiRNA
    • Plasmid DNA
    • SiRNA


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