Directed evolution for drug and nucleic acid delivery

Kaoru Hida, Justin Hanes, Marc Ostermeier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Directed evolution is a term used to describe a variety of related techniques to rapidly evolve peptides and proteins into new forms that exhibit improved properties for specific applications. In this process, molecular biology techniques allow the creation of up to billions of mutants in a single experiment, which are then subjected to high-throughput screening to identify those with enhanced activity. Applications of directed evolution to drug and gene delivery have been recently described, including those that improve the effectiveness of therapeutic enzymes, targeting peptides and antibodies, and the effectiveness or tropism of viral vectors for use in gene therapy. This review first introduces fundamental concepts of directed evolution, and then discusses emerging applications in the field of drug and gene delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1562-1578
Number of pages17
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Issue number15
StatePublished - Dec 22 2007


  • Antibody affinity maturation
  • Directed evolution
  • Molecular evolution
  • Viral gene therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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