Published online Nov 28, 2013. doi: 10.5319/wjo.v3.i4.114
Revised: August 22, 2013
Accepted: October 17, 2013
Published online: November 28, 2013
Core tip: Several novel, multifunctional nanoparticles have been developed, which are targetable to selected tissue, biodegradable, traceable in vivo, and equipped with controlled payload release. They can be used to transport therapeutic agents, such as drugs, genes, small interfering RNAs and growth factors into the inner ear. To visualise the targetability and accuracy of the delivery, the nanoparticles can be traced with magnetic resonance imaging. It is hoped that this technology will come to be used as an alternative carrier to viral vectors traditionally used in gene delivery, but without the severe adverse effect.