29 April 2020

Sound Gene therapy

Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles have developed a new method of safe, fast and cost-effective delivery of DNA to stem and immune cells. In an article published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they write that in order to more effectively deliver gene editing tools to cells, it is necessary to abandon the use of viruses, electrical or chemical influences that rupture the membrane and lead to cell death.

In the new device, a large number of cells pass through microchannels with liquid for cultivation and are processed by high-frequency sound waves. Special speakers convert electricity into mechanical vibrations that manipulate cells.


A prototype of an acoustofluidic device.

Sound waves open the pores of cell membranes, allowing DNA and other biological molecules to enter cells. Thus, researchers can deliver the cargo to the cells without the risk of damage to them, which is high with direct contact.

Researchers have successfully delivered short ring strands of DNA (plasmids) into human blood cells and hematopoietic stem cells designed specifically for laboratory research, conducting millions of such cells through an acousto-fluid device. At the same time, plasmids were introduced into about 60% of the treated cells without any additional chemical and physical interventions.

Plasmids used as templates for gene editing can make corrections to the genome because they carry a sequence of nucleotides encoding the composition of the desired protein.

By increasing the accuracy of gene therapy, the new device will be useful for adults and children with cancer, immune system disorders and genetic diseases. With it, treatment will become safer and less expensive, since its throughput is quite high.

The new approach is still being finalized and is not yet available for the treatment of patients.

The research team has applied for patents on the acoustofluidic device and related technologies.

Aminat Adzhieva, portal "Eternal Youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru according to UCLA Newsroom: A step towards a more efficient way to make gene therapies to attack cancer, genetic disorders.

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