Rudd, L. Pichon, C. and Delalande, A.
Ultraschall in der Medizin (2014) 22 (4) 391-393
Having first been developed for ultrasound imaging, nowadays, microbubbles are proposed as tools for ultrasound-assisted gene delivery, too. Their behavior during ultrasound exposure causes transient membrane permeability of surrounding cells, facilitating targeted local delivery. The increased cell uptake of extracellular compounds by ultrasound in the presence of microbubbles is attributed to a phenomenon called sonoporation. Sonoporation has been successfully applied to deliver nucleic acids in vitro and in vivo in a variety of therapeutic applications. However, the biological and physical mechanisms of sonoporation are still not fully understood. In this review, we discuss recent data concerning microbubble—cell interactions leading to sonoporation and we report on the progress in ultrasound-assisted therapeutic gene delivery in different organs. In addition, we outline ongoing challenges of this novel delivery method for its clinical use.