Date: 16 Feb 2011

Viruses as Nanomaterials for Drug Delivery

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Virus delivery vectors are one among the many nanomaterials that are being developed as drug delivery materials. This chapter focuses on methods utilizing plant virus nanoparticles (PVNs) synthesized from the Red clover necrotic mosaic virus (RCNMV). A successful vector must be able to effectively carry and subsequently deliver a drug cargo to a specific target. In the case of the PVNs, we describe two types of ways cargo can be loaded within these structures: encapsidation and infusion. Several targeting approaches have been used for PVNs based on bioconjugate chemistry. Herein, examples of such approaches will be given that have been used for RCNMV as well as for other PVNs in the literature. Further, we describe characterization of PVNs, in vitro cell studies that can be used to test the efficacy of a targeting vector, and potential routes for animal administration.