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Despite the fact that we live in an era of advanced and innovative technologies for elucidating underlying mechanisms of diseases and molecularly designing new drugs, infectious diseases continue to be one of the greatest health challenges worldwide. The main drawbacks for conventional antimicrobial agents are the development of multiple drug resistance and(More)
Multiple extra- and intracellular obstacles, including low stability in blood, poor cellular uptake, and inefficient endosomal escape and disassembly in the cytoplasm, have to be overcome in order to deliver nucleic acids for gene therapy. This review introduces the recent advances in tackling the key challenges in achieving efficient, targeted, and safe(More)
Contrast in optical coherence tomography (OCT) images can be enhanced by utilizing surface plasmon resonant gold nanoparticles. To improve the poor in vivo transport of gold nanoparticles through biological barriers, an efficient delivery strategy is needed. In this study, the improved penetration and distribution of gold nanoparticles were achieved by(More)
Silencing the expression of a target gene by RNA interference (RNAi) shows promise as a potentially revolutionizing strategy for manipulating biological (pathological) pathways at the translational level. However, the lack of reliable, efficient, versatile, and safe means for the delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules, which are large in(More)
RNA interference (RNAi) has been regarded as a revolutionary tool for manipulating target biological processes as well as an emerging and promising therapeutic strategy. In contrast to the tangible and obvious effectiveness of RNAi in vitro, silencing target gene expression in vivo using small interfering RNA (siRNA) has been a very challenging task due to(More)
Activating the immune system to trigger a specific response is a major challenge in vaccine development. In particular, activating sufficient cytotoxic T lymphocyte-mediated cellular immunity, which is crucial for the treatment of many diseases including cancer and AIDS, has proven to be especially challenging. In this study, antigens were encapsulated in(More)
Acid-degradable cationic nanoparticles encapsulating a model antigen (i.e., ovalbumin) were prepared by inverse microemulsion polymerization with acid-cleavable acetal cross-linkers. Incubation of these degradable nanoparticles with dendritic cells derived from bone marrow (BMDCs) resulted in the enhanced presentation of ovalbumin-derived peptides, as(More)
The dynamic and versatile nature of diseases such as cancer has been a pivotal challenge for developing efficient and safe therapies. Cancer treatments using a single therapeutic agent often result in limited clinical outcomes due to tumor heterogeneity and drug resistance. Combination therapies using multiple therapeutic modalities can synergistically(More)
Stimuli-responsive degradability is an indispensable design component for polymeric gene carriers. In order to obtain enhanced, non-cytotoxic, and molecularly tunable nonviral gene delivery, spermine, a bioavailable small cationic molecule, was polymerized with diacrylate cross-linkers with or without acid-degradable ketal linkages for controlled dual(More)
To maximize therapeutic effects, targeted delivery of nucleic acids (e.g., DNA and RNA) in their appropriate intracellular targets is highly desirable. In this study, primary amines of a model polymeric nonviral carrier, polyethylenimine (PEI), at two molecular weights (0.8 and 25 kDa) were differentially ketalized (i.e., 17-96%) in order to explore the(More)