Effect of albumin and dextrose concentration on ultrasound and microbubble mediated gene transfection in vivo

Richard J. Browning, Helen Mulvana, Meng-Xing Tang, Jo V. Hajnal, Dominic J. Wells, Robert J. Eckersley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasound and microbubble mediated gene transfection has great potential for site-selective, safe gene delivery. Albumin-based microbubbles have shown the greatest transfection efficiency but have not been optimised specifically for this purpose. Additionally, few studies have highlighted desirable properties for transfection specific microbubbles. In this article, microbubbles were made with 2% or 5% (w/v) albumin and 20% or 40% (w/v) dextrose solutions, yielding four distinct bubble types. These were acoustically characterised and their efficiency in transfecting a luciferase plasmid (pGL4.13) into female, CD1 mice myocardia was measured. For either albumin concentration, increasing the dextrose concentration increased scattering, attenuation and resistance to ultrasound, resulting in significantly increased transfection. A significant interaction was noted between albumin and dextrose; 2% albumin bubbles made with 20% dextrose showed the least transfection but the most transfection with 40% dextrose. This trend was seen for both nonlinear scattering and attenuation behaviour but not for resistance to ultrasound or total scatter. We have determined that the attenuation behaviour is an important microbubble characteristic for effective gene transfection using ultrasound. Microbubble behaviour can also be simply controlled by altering the initial ingredients used during manufacture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1077
Number of pages11
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Early online date12 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2012


  • ultrasound
  • gene transfection
  • albumin
  • dextrose
  • microbubble
  • scattering
  • attenuation
  • luciferases
  • bioluminescence


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