Theranostics 2019; 9(11):3094-3106. doi:10.7150/thno.31914 This issue


Gene delivery based on macrocyclic amphiphiles

Wen-Chao Geng1, Qiaoxian Huang2, Zhe Xu1, Ruibing Wang2,✉, Dong-Sheng Guo1,✉

1. College of Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Functional Polymer Materials (Ministry of Education), State Key Laboratory of Elemento-Organic Chemistry, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China.
2. State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Taipa, Macau SAR, China.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
Geng WC, Huang Q, Xu Z, Wang R, Guo DS. Gene delivery based on macrocyclic amphiphiles. Theranostics 2019; 9(11):3094-3106. doi:10.7150/thno.31914. Available from

File import instruction


Graphic abstract

Gene therapy, with an important role in biomedicine, often requires vectors for gene condensation in order to avoid degradation, improve membrane permeation, and achieve targeted delivery. Macrocyclic molecules are a family of artificial receptors that can selectively bind a variety of guest species. Amphiphilic macrocycles, particularly those bearing cationic charges and their various assemblies represent a new class of promising non-viral vectors with intrinsic advantages in gene condensation and delivery. The most prominent examples include amphiphilic cyclodextrins, calixarenes and pillararenes. Herein, we systemically reviewed reported assemblies of amphiphilic macrocycles for gene delivery and therapy. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of macrocyclic amphiphiles for gene delivery, as well as the perspectives on the future development of this area are discussed.

Keywords: macrocyclic amphiphiles, gene delivery