Liquids in Dishes in a Lab
Small Interfering RNA

RNAi Pathway GraphicThe discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) and the roles that short interfering RNA (siRNA) and micro-RNA (miRNA) play in directing the reversible silencing of genes has enabled the creation of a whole new class of RNA therapeutics to target disease-causing genes that may be otherwise undruggable.


RNAi therapeutics currently being developed are poised to revolutionize:


• Cancer treatments
• Rare genetic disease treatments
• Immunotherapy



Small RNA requires a delivery vehicle to protect against nucleases and to facilitate cellular uptake and release into the cytoplasm. Nanoparticles effectively solve several challenges facing small RNA delivery for basic research and drug development:


• Protection from nucleases
• Delivery and release into the cytoplasm
• Laborious and time-consuming viral packaging
• Safety concerns with viral vectors
• Toxicity with other delivery methods
• A single approach for RNA delivery for all stages of research and drug development


Nanoparticle formulations can be prepared on demand in seconds with NanoAssemblr® technology.

Overcome Challenges in Small RNA Delivery

Several nanoparticle formulations are being explored to package and deliver siRNA including:

Polymeric Nanoparticle and Micelles
Polymer NPs and Micelles
Nucleic Acid Lipid Nanoparticle LNP

Among these, nucleic acid-LNPs are the most clinically advanced. The first RNAi drug slated for approval (Patisiran) uses LNPs to deliver siRNA. There are however challenges to producing siRNA-loaded nanoparticles that NanoAssemblr® technology addresses:

Challenges with Conventional Methods Benefits of NanoAssemblr® Technology
Significant batch-to-batch variabilityorangeRightArrowCreate highly reproducible siRNA lipid nanoparticles
Substantial material loss from low encapsulation efficiencyorangeRightArrowGenerate siRNA lipid nanoparticles with high encapsulation efficacy and transfection potency
A labor-intensive production process that is difficult to scale up or scale downorangeRightArrowRapidly produce formulations for screening and optimization with a straightforward path to scale-up for clinical applications

Key Benefits

Highly Reproducible siRNA LNP Formulations

siRNA Reproducibility BenchtopParticle size and PDI determined by dynamic light scattering of siRNA LNPs produced by 3 independent users on the NanoAssemblr® Benchtop demonstrating process consistency.

High Encapsulation Efficiency and Potency

siRNA Efficiency & PotencySerum levels of Factor VII protein in mice following i.v. injection of siRNA-LNPs shows a dose-dependent response. At RNA doses of 1 mg/kg over 90% knockdown was achieved for LNPs made on the NanoAssemblr® Benchtop, Blaze, and Scale-Up System.

Straightforward to Scale Production

siRNA Consistent ScalabilityConsistent results for size & PDI of siRNA LNPs achieved across the NanoAssemblr® Platform. Size & PDI were determined by DLS from triplicate formulations. The composition was determined by HPLC.

How It Works
siRNA Production and Delivery
1) An organic solvent containing dissolved lipids and an aqueous solution containing nucleic acids are injected into the two inlet channels of the NanoAssemblr® cartridge.
2) Under laminar flow, the two solutions do not immediately mix, but microscopic features engineered into the channel cause the two fluids to intermingle in a controlled and reproducible way.
3) Within a millisecond, the two fluids are completely mixed, causing a change in solvent polarity that triggers the self-assembly of lipid nanoparticles loaded with nucleic acids.

4) Changing the speed and ratio of fluid injection controls the size of the lipid nanoparticles.
5) Lipid nanoparticles mimic low-density lipoproteins, which allows them to be taken up by an endogenous cellular transport pathway to deliver nucleic acids to cells.
6) Using pH-sensitive lipids allow lipid nanoparticles to release encapsulated nucleic acids into the cytoplasm when vesicle pH decreases.

Get Started

To learn how Precision NanoSystems accelerates nanomedicine development from an idea to clinical applications, contact our Technical Sales Team.

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siRNA Resources

Publication - Abstract

April 26, 2018

Small Methods

State‐of‐the‐Art Design and Rapid‐Mixing Production Techniques of Lipid Nanoparticles for Nucleic Acid Delivery

Evers, M. J. W., Kulkarni, J. A., van der Meel, R., Cullis, P. R., Vader, P., & Schiffelers, R. M.

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Publication - Summary

November 21, 2018


Effective Lipidoid Nanoparticle Delivery In Vivo of siRNA Targeting Kappa Light Chain Production in a Murine Xenograft Model

Xun Ma, Ping Zhou, Adin Kugelmass, Denis Toskic, Melissa Warner, Lisa X. Lee, Teresa Fogaren, Ming Wang, Yamin Li, Liu Y...

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Publication - Abstract

November 01, 2018


Changes in the Synaptic Proteome in Tauopathy and Rescue of Tau-Induced Synapse Loss by C1q Antibodies

Dejanovic, B., Huntley, M. A., De Mazière, A., Meilandt, W. J., Wu, T., Srinivasan, K., . . . Sheng, M.

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September 14, 2018

From Concept to Reality: Development of Lipid Nanoparticles for Systemic Delivery of RNAi Therapeutics - Martin Maier, Alnylam

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Publication - Abstract

May 25, 2018

Multiple Myeloma

Microfluidic Production and Application of Lipid Nanoparticles for Nucleic Acid Transfection

A Thomas, SM Garg, RAG De Souza, E Ouellet, G Tharmarajah, D Reichert, M Ordobadi, S Ip, E C Ramsay

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Publication - Abstract

April 03, 2018

ACS Nano

On the Formation and Morphology of Lipid Nanoparticles Containing Ionizable Cationic Lipids and siRNA

J. Kulkarni , M. Darjuan, J. Mercer, S. Chen, R. van der Meel, J. Thewalt , Y. Tam, and P. Cullis

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