Definition of biolistics in English:


plural noun

  • treated as singular A technique in genetic engineering in which tiny metal pellets coated with DNA are propelled into living cells at high velocities.

    • ‘The cartoon on the left depicts a schematic of the biolistics process and the image on the right is a montage of neurons in cortical slice transfected by biolistics and immunostained.’
    • ‘Over-expression of introduced genes is a problem with some methods, such as biolistics, which is shooting gene preparations into plant tissue with tiny projectiles.’
    • ‘Small metal particles encapsulated by carbon shells have also been shown to be candidates for biolistics.’
    • ‘Previous reports have shown that biolistics can be used to transfer genes to chickens in ovo.’
    • ‘Immature embryos were transformed with these vectors by biolistics.’
    • ‘As microinjection and biolistics definitely transfer DNA into walled plant cells, micro laser offers advantages in very specific cases in which those techniques are not applicable.’
    • ‘This is sometimes called ‘biolistics’ - a cross between biology and ballistics.’
    • ‘It makes use of biolistics technology, where tiny particles are injected through cell walls by a high-powered gun.’
    • ‘Using biolistics, transgenic corn and soybean plants have been produced that contain heritable copies of the inserted gene.’


1980s: apparently from bio- and ballistics.