Skip to Content

Nanoparticles Deliver Gene Therapy through the Skin

A study suggests that a gene-suppressant could someday be delivered via a cream.

New research shows that super-small particles can penetrate almost all of the epidermis, the outer layer of skin that normally prevents objects from making their way inside the body. The nanoparticles passed through cell membranes in the epidermis and did not cause negative skin or cellular reactions.

The nucleic acid nanoparticles that were used carried a small interfering RNA (siRNA) treatment, which acts as a gene suppressant. It can change how specific parts of our genetic makeup exert influence on the operation of cellular processes inside the body, including the unfettered cell replication which is the cause of cancer.

Since the nanoparticles made it through the skin with no adverse effects, the results suggest that siRNA could be delivered this way. siRNA gene therapy is one of the hottest areas of research currently.

The paper was published in early July in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by scientists at the University of Illinois.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.