Ultrasound‐responsive gene‐activated matrices for osteogenic gene therapy using matrix‐assisted sonoporation

N Nomikou, GA Feichtinger, S Saha, S Nuernberger, P Heimel, H Redl, AP McHale

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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Gene-activated matrix (GAM)-based therapeutics for tissue regeneration are limited by efficacy, the lack of spatiotemporal control and availability of target cells, all of which impact negatively on their translation to the clinic. Here we describe an advanced ultrasound-responsive GAM containing target cells that facilitates matrix-assisted sonoporation (MAS) to induce osteogenic differentiation. Ultrasound-responsive GAMs consisting of fibrin/collagen hybrid-matrices containing microbubbles, bone morphogenetic protein BMP2/7 co-expression plasmids together with C2C12 cells were treated with ultrasound either in vitro or following parenteral intramuscular implantation in vivo. Using direct measurement for alkaline phosphatase activity, von Kossa staining and immuno-histochemical analysis for osteocalcin expression, MAS-stimulated osteogenic differentiation was confirmed in the GAMs in vitro 7 days after treatment with ultrasound. At day 30 post-treatment with ultrasound, ectopic osteogenic differentiation was confirmed in vivo using X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) and histological analysis. Osteogenic differentiation was indicated by the presence of ectopic bone structures in all animals treated with MAS. In addition, bone volumes in this group were statistically greater than those in the control groups. This novel approach of incorporating a MAS capability into GAMs could be exploited to facilitate ex vivo gene transfer with subsequent surgical implantation or alternatively provide a minimally invasive means of stimulating in situ transgene delivery for osteoinductive gene-based therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e250-260
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 26 Jan 2018


  • Osteogenesis
  • gene
  • matrix
  • sonoporation
  • ultrasound
  • regeneration


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