Stem Cell Reviews and Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 725–740 | Cite as

Gene Delivery Approaches for Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy: Strategies to Increase Efficiency and Specificity

  • Gopi Suresh Oggu
  • Shyama Sasikumar
  • Nirosha Reddy
  • Kranthi Kiran Reddy Ella
  • Ch. Mohan Rao
  • Kiran Kumar BokaraEmail author


A significant number of clinical trials have been undertaken to explore the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for the treatment of several diseases such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes, bone defects, myocardial infarction, stroke etc., Due to their efficiency in homing to the tissue injury sites, their differentiation potential, the capability to secrete a large amount of trophic factors and their immunomodulatory effects, MSCs are becoming increasingly popular and expected to be one of the promising therapeutic approaches. However, challenges associated with the isolation of pure MSC populations, their culture and expansion, specific phenotypic characterization, multi-potential differentiation and challenges of efficient transplantation limit their usage. The current strategies of cell-based therapies emphasize introducing beneficial genes, which will improve the therapeutic ability of MSCs and have better homing efficiency. The continuous improvement in gene transfer technologies has broad implications in stem cell biology. Although viral vectors are efficient vehicles for gene delivery, construction of viral vectors with desired genes, their safety and immunogenicity limit their use in clinical applications. We review current gene delivery approaches, including viral and plasmid vectors, for transfecting MSC with beneficial genes. The review also discusses the use of a few emerging technologies that could be used to improve the transfer/induction of desirable genes for cell therapy.


Mesenchymal stem cells Viral vectors Gene delivery Stem cell applications CRISPR/Cas Optogenetics Pharmacogenomics 



Authors acknowledge Dr. T, Ramakrishna for critical reading of the manuscript and suggestions. Kiran Kumar acknowledge CSIR network project mIND (BSC-0115) for financial assistance. Ch. Mohan Rao acknowledges the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for the Sir JC Bose National Fellowship.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors confirm that this article content has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gopi Suresh Oggu
    • 1
  • Shyama Sasikumar
    • 1
  • Nirosha Reddy
    • 2
  • Kranthi Kiran Reddy Ella
    • 2
  • Ch. Mohan Rao
    • 1
  • Kiran Kumar Bokara
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.CSIR-Center for Cellular and Molecular BiologyMedical Biotechnology ComplexHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.MNR Dental College and HospitalSangareddyIndia

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