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Improving ultrasound gene transfection efficiency by controlling ultrasound excitation of microbubbles.

ABSTRACT: Ultrasound application in the presence of microbubbles has shown great potential for non-viral gene transfection via transient disruption of cell membrane (sonoporation). However, improvement of its efficiency has largely relied on empirical approaches without consistent and translatable results. The goal of this study is to develop a rational strategy based on new results obtained using novel experimental techniques and analysis to improve sonoporation gene transfection. In this study, we conducted experiments using targeted microbubbles that were attached to cell membrane to facilitate sonoporation. We quantified the dynamic activities of microbubbles exposed to pulsed ultrasound and the resulting sonoporation outcome, and identified distinct regimes of characteristic microbubble behaviors: stable cavitation, coalescence and translation, and inertial cavitation. We found that inertial cavitation generated the highest rate of membrane poration. By establishing direct correlation of ultrasound-induced bubble activities with intracellular uptake and pore size, we designed a ramped pulse exposure scheme for optimizing microbubble excitation to improve sonoporation gene transfection. We implemented a novel sonoporation gene transfection system using an aqueous two phase system (ATPS) for efficient use of reagents and high throughput operation. Using plasmids coding for the green fluorescence protein (GFP), we achieved a sonoporation transfection efficiency in rate aortic smooth muscle cells (RASMCs) of 6.9%±2.2% (n=9), comparable with lipofection (7.5%±0.8%, n=9). Our results reveal characteristic microbubble behaviors responsible for sonoporation and demonstrated a rational strategy to improve sonoporation gene transfection.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC3758692 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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