Artificial cavitation nuclei significantly enhance acoustically induced cell transfection

William J. Greenleaf, Mark E. Bolander, Gobinda Sarkar, Mary B. Goldring, James F. Greenleaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

313 Scopus citations


The efficiency of ultrasound-mediated gene transfection was enhanced three- to fourfold, compared to previous results, through the use of green fluorescent protein reporter gene, cultured immortalized human chondrocytes and artificial cavitation nuclei in the form of Albunex(®). Cells were exposed to 1.0-MHz ultrasound transmitted through the bottom of six-well culture plates containing immortalized chondrocytes, media, DNA at a concentration of 40 μg/mL and Albunex(®) at 50 x 106 bubbles/mL. Transfection efficiency increased linearly with ultrasound exposure pressure with a transfection threshold observed at a spatial average peak positive pressure (SAPP) of 0.12 MPa and reaching about 50% of the living cells when exposed to 0.41 MPa SAPP for 20 s. Adding fresh Albunex(®) at 50 x 106 bubbles/mL prior to sequential 1-s, 0.32- or 0.41-MPa exposures increased transfection with each exposure, reaching 43% transfection after four exposures. Efficient in vitro and in vivo transfection now appear possible with these enhancements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-595
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1998


  • AIbunex(®)
  • Bubble nucleation
  • Gene therapy
  • Transfection
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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