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Proceedings Paper

Plasma-mediated transfection of RPE
Author(s): D. Palanker; T. Chalberg; A. Vankov; P. Huie; F. E. Molnar; A. Butterwick; M. Calos; M. Marmor; M. S. Blumenkranz
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Paper Abstract

A major obstacle in applying gene therapy to clinical practice is the lack of efficient and safe gene delivery techniques. Viral delivery has encountered a number of serious problems including immunological reactions and malignancy. Non-viral delivery methods (liposomes, sonoporation and electroporation) have either low efficiency in-vivo or produce severe collateral damage to ocular tissues. We discovered that tensile stress greatly increases the susceptibility of cellular membranes to electroporation. For synchronous application of electric field and mechanical stress, both are generated by the electric discharge itself. A pressure wave is produced by rapid vaporization of the medium. To prevent termination of electric current by the vapor cavity it is ionized thus restoring its electric conductivity. For in-vivo experiments with rabbits a plasmid DNA was injected into the subretinal space, and RPE was treated trans-sclerally with an array of microelectodes placed outside the eye. Application of 250-300V and 100-200 μs biphasic pulses via a microelectrode array resulted in efficient transfection of RPE without visible damage to the retina. Gene expression was quantified and monitored using bioluminescence (luciferase) and fluorescence (GFP) imaging. Transfection efficiency of RPE with this new technique exceeded that of standard electroporation by a factor 10,000. Safe and effective non-viral DNA delivery to the mammalian retina may help to materialize the enormous potential of the ocular gene therapy. Future experiments will focus on continued characterization of the safety and efficacy of this method and evaluation of long-term transgene expression in the presence of phiC31 integrase.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 March 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6138, Ophthalmic Technologies XVI, 61381E (7 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.649624
Show Author Affiliations
D. Palanker, Stanford Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
Stanford Univ. (United States)
T. Chalberg, Stanford Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
A. Vankov, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Stanford Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
P. Huie, Stanford Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
Stanford Univ. (United States)
F. E. Molnar, Stanford Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
A. Butterwick, Stanford Univ. (United States)
M. Calos, Stanford Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
M. Marmor, Stanford Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
M. S. Blumenkranz, Stanford Univ. School of Medicine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6138:
Ophthalmic Technologies XVI
Fabrice Manns; Per G. Söderberg; Arthur Ho, Editor(s)

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