Opportunities offered by graphene nanoparticles for micrornas delivery for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatment

Marco De Spirito, Massimiliano Papi, Benedetta Niccolini, Valentina Palmieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterized by the degeneration and death of motor neurons. This neurodegenerative disease leads to muscle atrophy, paralysis, and death due to respiratory failure. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding ribonucleic acids (RNAs) with a length of 19 to 25 nucleotides, participating in the regulation of gene expression. Different studies have demonstrated that miRNAs deregulation is critical for the onset of a considerable number of neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS. Some studies have underlined how miRNAs are deregulated in ALS patients and for this reason, design therapies are used to correct the aberrant expression of miRNAs. With this rationale, delivery systems can be designed to target specific miRNAs. Specifically, these systems can be derived from viral vectors (viral systems) or synthetic or natural materials, including exosomes, lipids, and polymers. Between many materials used for nonviral vectors production, the two-dimensional graphene and its derivatives represent a good alternative for efficiently delivering nucleic acids. The large surface-to-volume ratio and ability to penetrate cell membranes are among the advantages of graphene. This review focuses on the specific pathogenesis of miRNAs in ALS and on graphene delivery systems designed for gene delivery to create a primer for future studies in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-132
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Delivery systems
  • Therapy
  • MiRNAs
  • Nanoparticle
  • Graphene


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