UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Virus-like Particles: Fundamentals and Biomedical Applications Mejía-Méndez, Jorge L.; Vazquez-Duhalt, Rafael; Hernández, Luis R.; Sánchez-Arreola, Eugenio; Bach, Horacio


Nanotechnology is a fast-evolving field focused on fabricating nanoscale objects for industrial, cosmetic, and therapeutic applications. Virus-like particles (VLPs) are self-assembled nanoparticles whose intrinsic properties, such as heterogeneity, and highly ordered structural organization are exploited to prepare vaccines; imaging agents; construct nanobioreactors; cancer treatment approaches; or deliver drugs, genes, and enzymes. However, depending upon the intrinsic features of the native virus from which they are produced, the therapeutic performance of VLPs can vary. This review compiles the recent scientific literature about the fundamentals of VLPs with biomedical applications. We consulted different databases to present a general scenario about viruses and how VLPs are produced in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell lines to entrap therapeutic cargo. Moreover, the structural classification, morphology, and methods to functionalize the surface of VLPs are discussed. Finally, different characterization techniques required to examine the size, charge, aggregation, and composition of VLPs are described.

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