Shock wave based biolistic device for DNA and drug delivery

Mutsumi Nakada, Viren Menezes, Akira Kanno, S. Hamid R. Hosseini, Kazuyoshi Takayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A shock wave assisted biolistic (biological ballistic) device has been developed to deliver DNA/drug-coated micro-projectiles into soft living targets. The device consists of an Nd:YAG laser, an optical setup to focus the laser beam and, a thin aluminum (Al) foil (typically 100 μm thick) which is a launch pad for the micro-projectiles. The DNA/drug-coated micro-particles to be delivered are deposited on the anterior surface of the foil and the posterior surface of the foil is ablated using the laser beam with an energy density of about 32 × 109 W/cm2. The ablation launches a shock wave through the foil that imparts an impulse to the foil surface, due to which the deposited particles accelerate and acquire sufficient momentum to penetrate soft targets. The device has been tested for particle delivery by delivering 1 μm size tungsten particles into liver tissues of experimental rats and in vitro test models made of gelatin. The penetration depths of about 90 and 800 μm have been observed in the liver and gelatin targets, respectively. The device has been tested for in vivo DNA [encoding β-glucuronidase (GUS) gene] transfer by delivering plasmid DNA-coated, 1-μm size gold (Au) particles into onion scale, tobacco leaf and soybean seed cells. The GUS activity was detected in the onion, tobacco and soybean cells after the DNA delivery. The present device is totally non-intrusive in nature and has a potential to get miniaturized to suit the existing medical procedures for DNA and/or drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1522-1526
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese journal of applied physics
Issue number3 PART 1
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar 14


  • Biolistic
  • DNA/drug delivery
  • Gene expression
  • Laser ablation
  • Shock wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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