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Gene Ther. 2012 Jul;19(7):703-10. doi: 10.1038/gt.2011.165. Epub 2011 Oct 27.

Ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction enhances naked plasmid DNA transfection in rabbit Achilles tendons in vivo.

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Department of Ultrasound, West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.


The study was to investigate the probability of increasing the transfection of the gene in tendons by ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD), and to search for the most suitable transfection conditions. A mixture of microbubbles and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) plasmids was injected into rabbit Achilles tendons by different administration routes and the tendons were ultrasound pulse by different ultrasonic conditions in order to determine the most appropriate conditions. Then, the rabbits were divided into four groups: (1) ultrasound + microbubbles + plasmid; (2) ultrasound+ plasmid; (3) microbubble + plasmid; (4) plasmid only. EGFP expression in the tendons and other tissues, and the damage to tendon and paratenon were all observed. The results showed that EGFP expression in the tendon was higher by ultrasound pulse with 2 W cm(-2) of output intensity and a 20% duty cycle for 10 min. Local injection was determined to be the better administration route. Among the four groups, EGFP expression in Group 1 was higher than that in other groups. EGFP expression was highest on seventh day, then it gradually decrease over time, and lasted more than 56 days. EGFP expression was not found in other tissues. There was no obvious injury caused by UTMD. Under suitable conditions, it is feasible to use UTMD as a safe and effective gene transfection therapy for tendon injuries.

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