Successful gene therapy depends on the development of effective gene carriers. Naturally occurring chitosan has been employed widely as a non-viral gene carrier because of its low toxicity, low immunogenicity, biocompatibility, and biodegradability. In this review, we summarize the utilization of chitosan, modified chitosan, and chitosan-containing ternary complexes as gene carriers. In particular, we discuss the influence of the physicochemical features of pDNA/chitosan complexes on their functions, such as stability and gene transfer into cells.
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