Ultrasound-mediated perfluorocarbon microbubbles bursting for gene transfection

Yu Hsiang Lee, Chun Yen Lai, Pai Chi Li, Ching An Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Ultrasound contrast agents (microbubbles) have been extensively applied as acoustic cavitation nuclei for drug and gene delivery. During microbubble bursting, several physical impacts such as shock waves can transiently disrupt cell membranes, and thereby facilitating the cellular uptake of genetic materials. Instead of using commercial microbubble (e.g., Optison or Definity), perfluorocarbon microbubbles with phase-shifting capability were harnessed in this study to examine their efficacy for gene delivery. Using ultrasonic homogenization technique, nonechogenic liquid perfluoropentane (C 5F12) microdroplets were stabilized by human serum albumin in the cell culture medium. Because the boiling point of perfluoropentane is 29°C, the liquid emulsions shifted to echogenic microbubbles at 37°C and served as cavitation nuclei. NIH 3T3 fibroblasts were exposed to ultrasound in the presence of perfluoropentane microbubbles and luciferase-encoded plasmid DNA. Our results showed that under 5-min mega-hertz ultrasonic exposure in the presence of perfluoropentane microbubbles, the level of luciferase gene expression increased up to 2-fold, in comparison with the one without adding microbubbles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Medical and Biological Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Gene delivery
  • Microbubble
  • Nonviral transfection
  • Perfluoropentane
  • Ultrasound


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