Summary: Techniques where DNA is delivered directly into organelles at high speed using projectiles coated with nucleic acid, shot from a helium-powered gun (gene gun). One of these techniques involves immunization by DNA VACCINES, which delivers DNA-coated gold beads to the epidermis.

Top Publications

  1. Martin Ortigosa S, Valenstein J, Sun W, Moeller L, Fang N, Trewyn B, et al. Parameters affecting the efficient delivery of mesoporous silica nanoparticle materials and gold nanorods into plant tissues by the biolistic method. Small. 2012;8:413-22 pubmed publisher
    ..6 ?m gold particles during bombardment. The methodology described provides a system for the efficient delivery of NPs into plant cells using the biolistic method. ..
  2. Raju P, McSloy N, Truong N, Kendall M. Assessment of epidermal cell viability by near infrared multi-photon microscopy following ballistic delivery of gold micro-particles. Vaccine. 2006;24:4644-7 pubmed
    ..96+/-5.22, 45.91+/-10.89, 90.52+/-12.28, respectively. These results suggest that optimization of transfection by genes administered with gene guns is - among other effects - a compromise of micro-particle payload and cell death. ..
  3. Liu L, Zhou X, Liu H, Xiang L, Yuan Z. CpG motif acts as a 'danger signal' and provides a T helper type 1-biased microenvironment for DNA vaccination. Immunology. 2005;115:223-30 pubmed
    ..These results may help to explain the mechanism of different types of immune response induced by DNA vaccines delivered by different routes and facilitate the application of DNA vaccines. ..
  4. O BRIEN J, Unwin N. Organization of spines on the dendrites of Purkinje cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006;103:1575-80 pubmed
    ..The purpose of this organization may therefore be to maximize the opportunity of different spines to interact with different axons. ..
  5. Kendall M, Mitchell T, Costigan G, Armitage M, Lenzo J, Thomas J, et al. Downregulation of IgE antibody and allergic responses in the lung by epidermal biolistic microparticle delivery. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006;117:275-82 pubmed
    ..Biolistic injection into the buccal epithelium was also inhibitory. Biolistic injection of allergen inhibited the boosting of IgE antibody and eosinophilic lung inflammatory responses without inducing T(H)1 immunity. ..
  6. Shefi O, Simonnet C, Baker M, Glass J, Macagno E, Groisman A. Microtargeted gene silencing and ectopic expression in live embryos using biolistic delivery with a pneumatic capillary gun. J Neurosci. 2006;26:6119-23 pubmed
  7. Matsuno Y, Iwata H, Umeda Y, Takagi H, Mori Y, Miyazaki J, et al. Nonviral gene gun mediated transfer into the beating heart. ASAIO J. 2003;49:641-4 pubmed
    ..This technique is effective for gene transfer into the heart and may be one of the most useful methods for gene therapy for many cardiovascular diseases in the future. ..
  8. O Brien J, Lummis S. Biolistic transfection of neuronal cultures using a hand-held gene gun. Nat Protoc. 2006;1:977-81 pubmed
    ..The method can be readily adapted to other cell types and tissues. The protocol can be completed in 1-2 h. ..
  9. Golden J, Josleyn M, Hooper J. Targeting the vaccinia virus L1 protein to the cell surface enhances production of neutralizing antibodies. Vaccine. 2008;26:3507-15 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, our results demonstrate that a DNA-based vaccine is capable of establishing protection from lethal orthopoxvirus challenges when administered as a prime and single boost without requiring adjuvant. ..

More Information


  1. Sparks C, Jones H. Biolistics transformation of wheat. Methods Mol Biol. 2009;478:71-92 pubmed publisher
  2. Ginsberg B, Gallardo H, Rasalan T, Adamow M, Mu Z, Tandon S, et al. Immunologic response to xenogeneic gp100 DNA in melanoma patients: comparison of particle-mediated epidermal delivery with intramuscular injection. Clin Cancer Res. 2010;16:4057-65 pubmed publisher
    ..07). A comparable efficacy and safety profile was shown between the i.m. and PMED arms, despite a significantly decreased dose of DNA used for PMED injection. ..
  3. Dib Hajj S, Choi J, Macala L, Tyrrell L, Black J, Cummins T, et al. Transfection of rat or mouse neurons by biolistics or electroporation. Nat Protoc. 2009;4:1118-26 pubmed publisher
    ..Although we have used sodium channels for the examples that we show here, these methods can also be used to study other types of molecules. ..
  4. Svarovsky S, Borovkov A, Sykes K. Cationic gold microparticles for biolistic delivery of nucleic acids. Biotechniques. 2008;45:535-40 pubmed publisher
    ..Along with its superior properties as a DNA delivery vehicle, charge-modified gold offers a unique opportunity to deliver various DNA formulations in addition to traditional naked DNA. ..
  5. Webb C, Szabo L, Bakkeren G, Garry C, Staples R, Eversmeyer M, et al. Transient expression and insertional mutagenesis of Puccinia triticina using biolistics. Funct Integr Genomics. 2006;6:250-60 pubmed
    ..Using a linearized cloning plasmid, stable integration into the genome was achieved as demonstrated by PCR and sequencing analysis. ..
  6. O Brien J, Lummis S. Nano-biolistics: a method of biolistic transfection of cells and tissues using a gene gun with novel nanometer-sized projectiles. BMC Biotechnol. 2011;11:66 pubmed publisher
    ..We conclude that nanoparticles are as efficient for biolistic transfection as microparticles, and are more appropriate for use in small cells, when examining cellular structures and/or where tissue damage is a problem. ..
  7. Thomas J. Electroporation, an alternative to biolistics for transfection of Bombyx mori embryos and larval tissues. J Insect Sci. 2003;3:17 pubmed
    There are few powerful techniques available to transfect insect tissues. We previously used biolistics to transfect Bombyx mori embryos, and larval and pupal tissues (Thomas J-L et al. 2001...
  8. Kawakami S, Higuchi Y, Hashida M. Nonviral approaches for targeted delivery of plasmid DNA and oligonucleotide. J Pharm Sci. 2008;97:726-45 pubmed
    ..In this review, we will focus on the in vivo targeted delivery of pDNA and ODN using nonviral carriers. ..
  9. Matthews K, Rhind S, Gossner A, Dalziel R, Hopkins J. The effects of gene gun delivered pIL-3 adjuvant on skin pathology and cytokine expression. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2007;119:233-42 pubmed
    ..pIL-3 did not affect the expression of the immune response polarizing cytokines, IL-10 and IL-12. ..
  10. Travella S, Ross S, Harden J, Everett C, Snape J, Harwood W. A comparison of transgenic barley lines produced by particle bombardment and Agrobacterium-mediated techniques. Plant Cell Rep. 2005;23:780-9 pubmed
    ..For the efficient production of transgenic barley plants, with stable transgene expression and reduced silencing, the Agrobacterium-mediated method appears to offer significant advantages over particle bombardment. ..
  11. Uchida M, Li X, Mertens P, Alpar H. Transfection by particle bombardment: delivery of plasmid DNA into mammalian cells using gene gun. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009;1790:754-64 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings will be useful in the design of gene gun device, and bring further improvements to the in vitro and in vivo transfection studies including gene therapy and vaccination. ..
  12. Thomas J, Bardou J, L Hoste S, Mauchamp B, Chavancy G. A helium burst biolistic device adapted to penetrate fragile insect tissues. J Insect Sci. 2001;1:9 pubmed
    ..No significant differences were noted between these two modes of delivery. The major improvement is the possibility of high pressure shooting correlated with appreciable penetration and a weak blast effect. ..
  13. Yamagishi N, Sasaki S, Yamagata K, Komori S, Nagase M, Wada M, et al. Promotion of flowering and reduction of a generation time in apple seedlings by ectopical expression of the Arabidopsis thaliana FT gene using the Apple latent spherical virus vector. Plant Mol Biol. 2011;75:193-204 pubmed publisher
  14. Kim J, Hung C, Juang J, He L, Kim T, Armstrong D, et al. Comparison of HPV DNA vaccines employing intracellular targeting strategies. Gene Ther. 2004;11:1011-8 pubmed
    ..Our data suggest that the DNA vaccine linking CRT to E7 (CRT/E7) may be a suitable candidate for human trials for the control of HPV infections and HPV-associated lesions. ..
  15. Bothwell J, Brownlee C, Hetherington A, Ng C, Wheeler G, McAinsh M. Biolistic delivery of Ca2+ dyes into plant and algal cells. Plant J. 2006;46:327-35 pubmed
    ..Biolistic loading of differentiated plant cells is easier, quicker, and more widely applicable than micro-injection, and should broaden the study of plant signal transduction...
  16. Armstrong M, Whisson S, Pritchard L, Bos J, Venter E, Avrova A, et al. An ancestral oomycete locus contains late blight avirulence gene Avr3a, encoding a protein that is recognized in the host cytoplasm. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102:7766-71 pubmed
    ..We suggest that Avr3a has undergone gene duplication and that an allele evading recognition by R3a arose under positive selection. ..
  17. Lindkvist M, Lahti K, Lilliehöök B, Holmström A, Ahlm C, Bucht G. Cross-reactive immune responses in mice after genetic vaccination with cDNA encoding hantavirus nucleocapsid proteins. Vaccine. 2007;25:1690-9 pubmed
    ..Our experimental data in combination with B-cell prediction software indicate that strong homologous virus species specific and cross-reactive epitopes are located around amino acid residue 40 in the nucleocapsid proteins...
  18. Rao A, Bakhsh A, Kiani S, Shahzad K, Shahid A, Husnain T, et al. The myth of plant transformation. Biotechnol Adv. 2009;27:753-63 pubmed publisher
    ..This review provides a comprehensive discussion of important issues related to plant transformation as well as advances made in transformation techniques during three decades. ..
  19. Zhang M, Tao W, Pianetta P. Dynamics modelling of biolistic gene guns. Phys Med Biol. 2007;52:1485-93 pubmed
    ..Simulations have also been conducted. The results agree well with experimental results in the open literature. The contribution of this paper includes a dynamic model for improving and manipulating performance of the biolistic gene gun. ..
  20. Webster A, Coupland P, Houghton F, Leese H, Aylott J. The delivery of PEBBLE nanosensors to measure the intracellular environment. Biochem Soc Trans. 2007;35:538-43 pubmed
    ..This paper will overview several of the most popular methods used for the introduction of PEBBLE nanosensors to the cellular environment and discuss the efficacy of the techniques. ..
  21. Rech E, Vianna G, Aragão F. High-efficiency transformation by biolistics of soybean, common bean and cotton transgenic plants. Nat Protoc. 2008;3:410-8 pubmed publisher
    ..the herbicide imazapyr as a selectable marker, multiple shoot induction from embryonic axes of mature seeds and biolistics techniques...
  22. Lin C, Yen M, Lin C, Huang S, Yang H, Chow N, et al. Delivery of noncarrier naked DNA vaccine into the skin by supersonic flow induces a polarized T helper type 1 immune response to cancer. J Gene Med. 2008;10:679-89 pubmed publisher
    ..A shift in the immune response to favour enhanced tumor rejection can be achieved by skin delivery of naked DNA vaccine. ..
  23. Grujic M, Holst P, Christensen J, Thomsen A. Fusion of a viral antigen to invariant chain leads to augmented T-cell immunity and improved protection in gene-gun DNA-vaccinated mice. J Gen Virol. 2009;90:414-22 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, given the fact that the Ii chain enhances the presentation of more than one epitope, this suggests that Ii-chain-based DNA vaccines may be promising candidates for various heterologous prime-boost regimes. ..
  24. Belyantseva I. Helios Gene Gun-mediated transfection of the inner ear sensory epithelium. Methods Mol Biol. 2009;493:103-23 pubmed publisher
  25. Smahel M, Pokorna D, Mackova J, Vlasak J. Enhancement of immunogenicity of HPV16 E7 oncogene by fusion with E. coli beta-glucuronidase. J Gene Med. 2004;6:1092-101 pubmed
    ..The E7GGG.GUS-based DNA vaccine might also be efficient against human tumour cells with reduced MHC class I expression. ..
  26. Thomsen L, Topley P, Daly M, Brett S, Tite J. Imiquimod and resiquimod in a mouse model: adjuvants for DNA vaccination by particle-mediated immunotherapeutic delivery. Vaccine. 2004;22:1799-809 pubmed
    ..Collectively, these studies suggest that both imiquimod and resiquimod may be suitable adjuvants for therapeutic DNA vaccines requiring induction of potent cytotoxic T cell responses. ..
  27. Zuber A, Brave A, Engstrom G, Zuber B, Ljungberg K, Fredriksson M, et al. Topical delivery of imiquimod to a mouse model as a novel adjuvant for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) DNA. Vaccine. 2004;22:1791-8 pubmed
    ..The delivery of an adjuvant as a topical cream rather than through injections has a clear clinical benefit. We show for the first time that imiquimod can act as an adjuvant for DNA vaccination. ..
  28. Zhu W, Thomas C, Sparling P. DNA immunization of mice with a plasmid encoding Neisseria gonorrhea PorB protein by intramuscular injection and epidermal particle bombardment. Vaccine. 2004;22:660-9 pubmed
    ..Based on different prime-boost protocols, we could polarize immune responses to predominantly Th1 or Th2, which should enable future studies of the types of immune responses that are protective in mouse models of gonorrhea. ..
  29. Nishikawa M, Huang L. Nonviral vectors in the new millennium: delivery barriers in gene transfer. Hum Gene Ther. 2001;12:861-70 pubmed
    ..Successful clinical applications of nonviral vectors will rely on a better understanding of barriers in gene transfer and development of vectors that can overcome these barriers. ..
  30. Wetterauer B, Salger K, Demel P, Koop H. Efficient transformation of Dictyostelium discoideum with a particle inflow gun. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000;1499:139-143 pubmed
    ..This is five times more than we achieve with the same vector using electroporation protocols. We also show that the particle inflow gun can be used for analysis of developmentally regulated gene expression in a transient assay. ..
  31. Hung C, Wu T. Improving DNA vaccine potency via modification of professional antigen presenting cells. Curr Opin Mol Ther. 2003;5:20-4 pubmed
  32. Palauqui J, Balzergue S. Activation of systemic acquired silencing by localised introduction of DNA. Curr Biol. 1999;9:59-66 pubmed
    ..Introduction of 35S-Nia2 DNA by the gene transfer method called biolistics led to localised acquired silencing (LAS) in bombarded leaves of wild-type, class I and class II plants, and to ..
  33. Smahel M, Síma P, Ludvikova V, Marinov I, Pokorna D, Vonka V. Immunisation with modified HPV16 E7 genes against mouse oncogenic TC-1 cell sublines with downregulated expression of MHC class I molecules. Vaccine. 2003;21:1125-36 pubmed
    ..Cell lines with downregulated MHC class I expression derived from TC-1 cells may represent a useful model for testing therapeutic anti-HPV vaccines in settings more relevant to clinical requirements. ..
  34. Larregina A, Watkins S, Erdos G, Spencer L, Storkus W, Beer Stolz D, et al. Direct transfection and activation of human cutaneous dendritic cells. Gene Ther. 2001;8:608-17 pubmed
    ..Taken together, our results demonstrate direct transfection, activation, and antigen-specific stimulatory function of in situ transduced human Langerhans cells. ..
  35. Muangmoonchai R, Wong S, Smirlis D, Phillips I, Shephardl E. Transfection of liver in vivo by biolistic particle delivery: its use in the investigation of cytochrome P450 gene regulation. Mol Biotechnol. 2002;20:145-51 pubmed
    ..However, when attached to the phenobarbital response element both promoters give the same fold-induction of reporter activity in response to phenobarbital. ..
  36. Rockhill R, Daly F, MacNeil M, Brown S, Masland R. The diversity of ganglion cells in a mammalian retina. J Neurosci. 2002;22:3831-43 pubmed
    ..Some known physiological types could easily be mapped onto structural types, but half of them could not; a large set of poorly known codings of the visual input is transmitted to the brain. ..
  37. Sima P, Smahel M, Jelinek F, Vonka V. DNA vaccine against Friend erythroleukaemia virus. Folia Biol (Praha). 2002;48:43-50 pubmed
    ..The FV type A or P was used as a challenge. The immunization with gag- and env-derived vaccines resulted in protective immunity in a high proportion of mice...
  38. Da dara A, Skelly P, Fatakdawala M, Visovatti S, Eriksson E, Harn D. Comparative efficacy of the Schistosoma mansoni nucleic acid vaccine, Sm23, following microseeding or gene gun delivery. Parasite Immunol. 2002;24:179-87 pubmed
    ..However, the protective effect of the vaccine was not affected by coadministering plasmids encoding either IL-12 or IL-4 using the microseeding technique. ..
  39. Scheiblhofer S, Chen D, Weiss R, Khan F, Mostbock S, Fegeding K, et al. Removal of the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) glycosylphosphatidylinositol signal sequence from a CSP DNA vaccine enhances induction of CSP-specific Th2 type immune responses and improvesprotection against malaria infection. Eur J Immunol. 2001;31:692-8 pubmed
    ..Engineering plasmid constructs for proper cellular localization of gene products is a primary consideration for the preparation of optimally efficacious DNA vaccines. ..
  40. Weiss R, Scheiblhofer S, Freund J, Ferreira F, Livey I, Thalhamer J. Gene gun bombardment with gold particles displays a particular Th2-promoting signal that over-rules the Th1-inducing effect of immunostimulatory CpG motifs in DNA vaccines. Vaccine. 2002;20:3148-54 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, the data also indicate a strong and even systemic adjuvant effect of the gene gun shot itself. ..
  41. Kettunen P, Demas J, Lohmann C, Kasthuri N, Gong Y, Wong R, et al. Imaging calcium dynamics in the nervous system by means of ballistic delivery of indicators. J Neurosci Methods. 2002;119:37-43 pubmed
    ..The ballistic delivery of calcium indicators thus opens up many new avenues for further exploration of the structure and function of the nervous system from single spines to neuronal networks. ..
  42. Mahvi D, Shi F, Yang N, Weber S, Hank J, Albertini M, et al. Immunization by particle-mediated transfer of the granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor gene into autologous tumor cells in melanoma or sarcoma patients: report of a phase I/IB study. Hum Gene Ther. 2002;13:1711-21 pubmed
    ..This technique of gene transfer was safe and feasible, but resulted in clinically relevant levels of gene expression in only a minority of patients. ..
  43. Kim T, Hung C, Ling M, Juang J, He L, Hardwick J, et al. Enhancing DNA vaccine potency by coadministration of DNA encoding antiapoptotic proteins. J Clin Invest. 2003;112:109-17 pubmed
    ..Thus, coadministration of DNA vaccines with DNA encoding antiapoptotic proteins represents an innovative approach to enhance DNA vaccine potency. ..
  44. Kravariti L, Thomas J, Sourmeli S, Rodakis G, Mauchamp B, Chavancy G, et al. The biolistic method as a tool for testing the differential activity of putative silkmoth chorion gene promoters. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2001;31:473-9 pubmed
    ..functional study of the tissue and temporal specificity of the 6F6 putative promoter region, we decided to apply biolistics. In the present work, use of a region from the 6F6...
  45. Weiss R, Leitner W, Scheiblhofer S, Chen D, Bernhaupt A, Mostbock S, et al. Genetic vaccination against malaria infection by intradermal and epidermal injections of a plasmid containing the gene encoding the Plasmodium berghei circumsporozoite protein. Infect Immun. 2000;68:5914-9 pubmed
    ..The results indicate that a gene gun-mediated CS-specific Th2-type response may be best for protecting against malarial sporozoite infection when the route of parasite entry is via mosquito bite. ..
  46. Gan W, Grutzendler J, Wong W, Wong R, Lichtman J. Multicolor "DiOlistic" labeling of the nervous system using lipophilic dye combinations. Neuron. 2000;27:219-25 pubmed
    ..In addition, the Golgi-like labeling of neurons with many different colors provides a novel way to study neuronal connectivity. ..
  47. Johansson P, Lindgren T, Lundstrom M, Holmstrom A, Elgh F, Bucht G. PCR-generated linear DNA fragments utilized as a hantavirus DNA vaccine. Vaccine. 2002;20:3379-88 pubmed
  48. Xia J, Martinez A, Daniell H, Ebert S. Evaluation of biolistic gene transfer methods in vivo using non-invasive bioluminescent imaging techniques. BMC Biotechnol. 2011;11:62 pubmed publisher
    ..This information is essential for designing effective gene therapy strategies in different target tissues. ..
  49. Zernova O, Zhong W, Zhang X, Widholm J. Tissue culture specificity of the tobacco ASA2 promoter driving hpt as a selectable marker for soybean transformation selection. Plant Cell Rep. 2008;27:1705-11 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus the ASA2 promoter is strong enough to drive sufficient hpt expression in soybean embryogenic cultures for hygromycin selection and only very low levels of expression were found in most plant tissues with none in mature seeds. ..
  50. Rosato A, Zoso A, Milan G, Macino B, Dalla Santa S, Tosello V, et al. Individual analysis of mice vaccinated against a weakly immunogenic self tumor-specific antigen reveals a correlation between CD8 T cell response and antitumor efficacy. J Immunol. 2003;171:5172-9 pubmed
    ..These results highlight the critical need to identify reliable, specific immunological parameters that may predict success or failure of an immune response against cancer. ..
  51. Williams K, Jessup C, Coster D. Gene therapy approaches to prolonging corneal allograft survival. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2004;4:1059-71 pubmed
    ..In these instances, the therapeutic protein almost certainly acted at a proximal level in the afferent immune response, within the ocular environs. ..
  52. Fraga D, Keenan E, Hendel E, Nair A, Schofield W. The particle inflow gun can be used to co-transform Paramecium using Tungsten particles. J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2006;53:16-9 pubmed
    ..The PIG coupled with tungsten particles as the carrier offers a low-cost alternative for biolistic transformation of Paramecium. ..
  53. Gao C, Jiang L, Folling M, Han L, Nielsen K. Generation of large numbers of transgenic Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) plants following biolistic gene transfer. Plant Cell Rep. 2006;25:19-25 pubmed
    ..Southern blot analysis demonstrated the independent nature of the transgenic plants and also revealed a complex transgene integration pattern with multiple insertions. ..