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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2012, Article ID 412752, 5 pages
Research Article

Selective Gene Transfer to the Retina Using Intravitreal Ultrasound Irradiation

1Department of Ophthalmology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-8520, Japan
2Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan
3Department of Biopharmaceutics, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Teikyo University, Sagamihara 229-0195, Japan

Received 14 September 2011; Revised 30 October 2011; Accepted 30 October 2011

Academic Editor: Edward Manche

Copyright © 2012 Shozo Sonoda 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.


This paper aims to evaluate the efficacy of intravitreal ultrasound (US) irradiation for green fluorescent protein (GFP) plasmid transfer into the rabbit retina using a miniature US transducer. Intravitreal US irradiation was performed by a slight modification of the transconjunctival sutureless vitrectomy system utilizing a small probe. After vitrectomy, the US probe was inserted through a scleral incision. A mixture of GFP plasmid (50 μL) and bubble liposomes (BLs; 50 μL) was injected into the vitreous cavity, and US was generated to the retina using a SonoPore 4000. The control group was not exposed to US. After 72 h, the gene-transfer efficiency was quantified by counting the number of GFP-positive cells. The retinas that received plasmid, BL, and US showed a significant increase in the number (average ± SEM) of GFP-positive cells (32±4.9; n=7; P<0.01). No GFP-positive cells were observed in the control eyes (n=7). Intravitreal retinal US irradiation can transfer the GFP plasmid into the retina without causing any apparent damage. This procedure could be used to transfer genes and drugs directly to the retina and therefore has potential therapeutic value.