Nanoparticles Deliver Therapeutic Genes 1

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Asha K. Patel, James C. Kaczmarek, Robert Langer and Daniel G. Anderson

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This is an image of human lung cells that have been treated with fluorescent stains to image structures of interest. In this experiment, we delivered a type of nucleic acid, mRNA, using nanoparticles that protect the sensitive nucleic acid and encourage the cell to take up the mRNA. The mRNA contains an instruction or code that the cell can then translate into protein. The image has been deconstructed to show each stain.

This image gives us insight into 1) where particles carrying mRNA are located within the cell, 2) how many cells are able to take up the nanoparticles, 3) whether the cell is able to convert the delivered mRNA to protein and 4) whether the cell ‘skeleton’ remains healthy.