Biomaterials in siRNA Delivery: A Comprehensive Review

William Ho, Xue Qing Zhang, Xiaoyang Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


With the dearth of effective treatment options for prominent diseases including Ebola and cancer, RNA interference (RNAi), a sequence-specific mechanism for genetic regulation that can silence nearly any gene, holds the promise of unlimited potential in treating illness ever since its discovery in 1999. Given the large size, unstable tertiary structure in physiological conditions and negative charge of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), the development of safe and effective delivery vehicles is of critical importance in order to drive the widespread use of RNAi therapeutics into clinical settings. Immense amounts of time and billions of dollars have been devoted into the design of novel and diverse delivery strategies, and there are a handful of delivery systems that have been successfully translated into clinic. This review provides an introduction to the in vivo barriers that need to be addressed by siRNA delivery systems. We also discuss the progress up to the most effective and clinically advanced siRNA delivery systems including liposomal, polymeric and siRNA conjugate delivery systems, as well as their design to overcome the challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2715-2731
Number of pages17
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 9 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


  • biomaterials
  • gene therapy
  • nanotechnology
  • siRNA


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