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Challenges in the use of nanostructures as carriers of nucleic acids in clinical practice

  • Quintão, Carolina Capobiango Romano1
  • Camargo, Luiz Sérgio de Almeida1
  • Brandão, Humberto de Mello1
  • Saraiva, Naiara Zoccal1
  • Munk, Michele2
  • 1 Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil., Juiz de Fora MG , (Brazil)
  • 2 Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil., Juiz de Fora MG , (Brazil)
Published Article
Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein
Publication Date
Feb 03, 2022
DOI: 10.31744/einstein_journal/2022RB5898
PMID: 35195162
PMCID: PMC8815335
PubMed Central
  • Reviewing Basic Sciences


The delivery of nucleic acids to cells is considered a crucial step for the success of genetic modifications aimed at therapeutic purposes or production of genetically modified animals. In this context, nanotechnology is one of the most promising fields of science, with the potential to solve several existing problems. Nanostructures have desirable characteristics to be used as carriers, such as nanometric size, large surface area, cell internalization capacity, prolonged and controlled release, among others. Genetically modified animals can contribute to the production of biopharmaceuticals, through the expression of high-associated-value molecules. The production of these animals, also known as biofactories, further enhances Brazilian agribusiness, since it allows adding value to the final product, and favors the integration between the agricultural market and the pharmaceutical sector. However, there is a growing concern about the safety and possible harmful effects of nanostructures, since data on the safe use of these materials are still insufficient. The objective of this review was to address aspects of the use of nanostructures, mainly carbon nanotubes as nucleic acid carriers, aiming at the production of genetically modified animals, with the certainty that progress in this field of knowledge depends on more information on the mechanisms of interaction between nanostructures, cells and embryos, as well as on its toxicity.

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