Realizing the promise of RNA nanotechnology for new drug development

September 5, 2012

Self-assembled RNA nanoparticles as potential therapeutic agents. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of RNA microsponges. (Credit: Lee et al., 2012)

The use of RNA in nanotechnology applications is highly promising for many applications, including the development of new therapeutic compounds, but keh technical challenges remain, presented in a an open-access review article in Nucleic Acid Therapeutics.

In “Uniqueness, Advantages, Challenges, Solutions, and Perspectives in Therapeutics Applying RNA Nanotechnology,” Peixuan Guo and colleagues, University of Kentucky, Lexington, highlight the ability of RNA to self-assemble into nanoparticles with diverse structures.

The authors provide a detailed description of the main challenges faced by the RNA therapeutics industry, including the chemical and thermodynamic instability of the molecules, potential safety and side effect issues, difficulties in delivery and specific targeting, and low yield and high production costs in manufacturing.