Selective organ targeting (SORT) nanoparticles for tissue-specific mRNA delivery and CRISPR–Cas gene editing

Qiang Cheng, Tuo Wei, Lukas Farbiak, Lindsay T. Johnson, Sean A. Dilliard, Daniel J. Siegwart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

551 Scopus citations


CRISPR–Cas gene editing and messenger RNA-based protein replacement therapy hold tremendous potential to effectively treat disease-causing mutations with diverse cellular origin. However, it is currently impossible to rationally design nanoparticles that selectively target specific tissues. Here, we report a strategy termed selective organ targeting (SORT) wherein multiple classes of lipid nanoparticles are systematically engineered to exclusively edit extrahepatic tissues via addition of a supplemental SORT molecule. Lung-, spleen- and liver-targeted SORT lipid nanoparticles were designed to selectively edit therapeutically relevant cell types including epithelial cells, endothelial cells, B cells, T cells and hepatocytes. SORT is compatible with multiple gene editing techniques, including mRNA, Cas9 mRNA/single guide RNA and Cas9 ribonucleoprotein complexes, and is envisioned to aid the development of protein replacement and gene correction therapeutics in targeted tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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