Tissue engineering aims to provide structural and biomolecular cues to compromised tissues through scaffolds. An emerging biomolecular cue is that of RNA interference by which the expression of genes can be silenced through a potent endogenous pathway. Recombinant viral-based approaches in RNAi delivery exist; however non-viral strategies offer many opportunities to exploit this mechanism of regulation in a safer way. Current RNAi therapies in clinical trials are without a vector (naked) or have slightly modified structures. Modification of these molecules with efficient backbone moieties for improved stability and potency, protecting and buffering them with delivery vehicles, and using scaffolds as reservoirs of delivery is at the frontier of current research. However, to enable an efficient sustained therapeutic effect scaffolds have a potentially significant role to play. This review presents non-viral delivery of RNAi that have been attempted via tissue engineered scaffolds. For RNAi to have a clinical impact, it is imperative to evaluate optimal delivery systems to ensure that the efficacy of this promising technology can be maximized. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.