Supercoiling DNA (folding DNA into a more compact molecule) from open circular forms requires significant bending energy. The double helix is coiled into a higher order helix form; thus it occupies a smaller footprint. Compact packing of DNA is essential to improve the efficiency of gene delivery, which has broad implications in biology and pharmaceutical research. Here we show that low-intensity pulsed ultrasound can pack open circular DNA into supercoil form. Plasmid DNA subjected to 5.4 mW/cm 2 intensity ultrasound showed significant (p-values <0.001) supercoiling compared to DNA without exposure to ultrasound. Radiation force induced from ultrasound and dragging force from the fluid are believed to be the main factors that cause supercoiling. This study provides the first evidence to show that low-intensity ultrasound can directly alter DNA topology. We anticipate our results to be a starting point for improved non-viral gene delivery.
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