Oral non-viral gene delivery for applications in DNA vaccination and gene therapy

Eric Farris, Kari Heck, Anna T. Lampe, Deborah M. Brown, Amanda E. Ramer-Tait, Angela K. Pannier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Non-viral gene delivery via the oral route is a promising strategy for improving outcomes of DNA vaccination and gene therapy applications. Unlike traditional parenteral administration routes, the oral route is a non-invasive approach that lends itself to high patient compliance and ease of dosing. Moreover, oral administration allows for both local and systemic production of therapeutic genes or, in the case of DNA vaccination, mucosal and systemic immunity. However, the oral route presents distinct challenges and barriers to achieving successful gene delivery. Oral non-viral gene delivery systems must be able to survive the harsh and variable environments (e.g. acidic pH, degrading enzymes, mucus layer) encountered during transit through the gastrointestinal tract, while still allowing for efficient transgene production at sites of interest. These barriers present unique design challenges for researchers in material selection and in improving the transfection efficiency of orally delivered genes. This review provides an overview of advancements in the design of oral non-viral gene delivery systems, and highlights recent and important developments towards improving orally delivered genes for applications in gene therapy and DNA vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-57
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biomedical Engineering
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • DNA vaccination
  • Gene therapy
  • Non-viral gene delivery
  • Oral delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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