Delivery of siRNA into the cytoplasm by liposomal bubbles and ultrasound

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Small interfering RNA (siRNA) is expected to be a novel therapeutic tool, however, its utilization has been limited by inefficient delivery systems. Recently, we have developed novel polyethyleneglycol modified liposomes (Bubble liposomes; BL) entrapping an ultrasound (US) imaging gas, which can work as a gene delivery tool with US exposure. In this study, we investigated whether the BL were suitable for the delivery of siRNA. BL efficiently delivered siRNA with only 10 s of exposure to US in vitro. Specific gene silencing effects could be achieved well even in the presence of serum or with the disruption of endocytosis. We suggest that siRNA is directly introduced into the cytoplasm by the BL and US and the mechanism enables effective transfection within a short time and in the presence of high serum. Transfection of siRNA into the tibialis muscles with BL and US was also performed. The gene-silencing effect could be sustained for more than 3 weeks. Thus, BL could be a useful siRNA delivery tool in vitro and in vivo.

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