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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 840852, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/840852
Research Article

Effects of Microbubble Size on Ultrasound-Mediated Gene Transfection in Auditory Cells

1Graduate Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, TR-916, Section 4, 43 Keelung Road, Taipei 10607, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, National Defense Medical Center, No. 161, Section 6, Minquan East Road, Taipei 114, Taiwan
3Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Tri-Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, No. 325, Section 2, Cheng-Kung Road, Taipei 114, Taiwan

Received 1 June 2014; Accepted 13 July 2014; Published 31 August 2014

Academic Editor: Robert J. Lee

Copyright © 2014 Ai-Ho Liao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Gene therapy for sensorineural hearing loss has recently been used to insert genes encoding functional proteins to preserve, protect, or even regenerate hair cells in the inner ear. Our previous study demonstrated a microbubble- (MB-)facilitated ultrasound (US) technique for delivering therapeutic medication to the inner ear. The present study investigated whether MB-US techniques help to enhance the efficiency of gene transfection by means of cationic liposomes on HEI-OC1 auditory cells and whether MBs of different sizes affect such efficiency. Our results demonstrated that the size of MBs was proportional to the concentration of albumin or dextrose. At a constant US power density, using 0.66, 1.32, and 2.83 μm albumin-shelled MBs increased the transfection rate as compared to the control by 30.6%, 54.1%, and 84.7%, respectively; likewise, using 1.39, 2.12, and 3.47 μm albumin-dextrose-shelled MBs increased the transfection rates by 15.9%, 34.3%, and 82.7%, respectively. The results indicate that MB-US is an effective technique to facilitate gene transfer on auditory cells in vitro. Such size-dependent MB oscillation behavior in the presence of US plays a role in enhancing gene transfer, and by manipulating the concentration of albumin or dextrose, MBs of different sizes can be produced.