Nanotechnology-based delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 for cancer treatment

Xiaoyu Xu, Chang Liu, Yonghui Wang, Oliver Koivisto, Junnian Zhou, Yilai Shu, Hongbo Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article or Literature Reviewpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats-associated protein 9) is a potent technology for gene-editing. Owing to its high specificity and efficiency, CRISPR/Cas9 is extensity used for human diseases treatment, especially for cancer, which involves multiple genetic alterations. Different concepts of cancer treatment by CRISPR/Cas9 are established. However, significant challenges remain for its clinical applications. The greatest challenge for CRISPR/Cas9 therapy is how to safely and efficiently deliver it to target sites in vivo. Nanotechnology has greatly contributed to cancer drug delivery. Here, we present the action mechanisms of CRISPR/Cas9, its application in cancer therapy and especially focus on the nanotechnology-based delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 for cancer gene editing and immunotherapy to pave the way for its clinical translation. We detail the difficult barriers for CRISIR/Cas9 delivery in vivo and discuss the relative solutions for encapsulation, target delivery, controlled release, cellular internalization, and endosomal escape.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113891
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


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