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Echocardiography. 2001 May;18(4):339-47.

Ultrasound gene therapy: on the road from concept to reality.

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1
Cardiovascular Research Group, Division of Clinical Sciences, University of Sheffield Clinical Sciences Centre, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield S5 7AU, UK. c.newman@sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract

The promise of gene therapy lies in the potential to ameliorate or cure conditions that are resistant to conventional therapeutic approaches. Progress in vascular and all other fields of gene therapy has been hampered by concerns over the safety and practicality of recombinant viral vectors and the inefficiency of current nonviral transfection techniques. This review summarizes the increasing evidence that exposure of eukaryotic cells to relatively modest intensity ultrasound, within the range emitted by diagnostic transducers, either alone or in combination with other nonviral techniques, can enhance transgene expression by up to several orders of magnitude over naked DNA alone. In combination with the flexibility and excellent clinical safety profile of therapeutic and diagnostic ultrasound, these data suggest that ultrasound-assisted gene delivery has great promise as a novel approach to improve the efficiency of many forms of nonviral gene delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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