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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 834079, 16 pages
Review Article

Delivery of Nucleic Acids and Nanomaterials by Cell-Penetrating Peptides: Opportunities and Challenges

1Department of Biological Sciences, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO 65409-1120, USA
2Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien 97401, Taiwan

Received 24 July 2014; Revised 18 September 2014; Accepted 23 September 2014

Academic Editor: Pradeep Kumar

Copyright © 2015 Yue-Wern Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Many viral and nonviral systems have been developed to aid delivery of biologically active molecules into cells. Among these, cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have received increasing attention in the past two decades for biomedical applications. In this review, we focus on opportunities and challenges associated with CPP delivery of nucleic acids and nanomaterials. We first describe the nature of versatile CPPs and their interactions with various types of cargoes. We then discuss in vivo and in vitro delivery of nucleic acids and nanomaterials by CPPs. Studies on the mechanisms of cellular entry and limitations in the methods used are detailed.