Gene therapy offers a panoply of potential treatments for conditions as diverse as cystic fibrosis, HIV infection, and certain tumors. The effectiveness of gene therapy is influenced by the selection of the appropriate vector, the immune response to the newly-synthesized protein, and the persistence of the transferred gene. Additionally, delivery options for introducing the gene must be weighed carefully. The optimal delivery system should increase transfection efficiency while minimizing side effects.
ALZET pumps have played an important role in the success of gene therapy studies, allowing localized delivery of gene vectors directly into the target area while eliminating most side effects commonly associated with systemic administration. Additionally, maintaining a slow, continuous infusion of vector over time minimizes local tissue trauma. Furthermore, a slow infusion increases the contact time between the virus and the cell, thus enhancing transduction efficiency.