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Ultrasonics. 2011 Dec;51(8):982-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2011.05.014. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Stable cavitation induces increased cytoplasmic calcium in L929 fibroblasts exposed to 1-MHz pulsed ultrasound.

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Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


An increase in cytoplasmic calcium (Ca(2+) increase) is a second messenger that is often observed under ultrasound irradiation. We hypothesize that cavitation is a physical mechanism that underlies the increase in Ca(2+) in these experiments. To control the presence of cavitation, the wave type was controlled in a sonication chamber. One wave type largely contained a traveling wave (wave type A) while the other wave type largely contained a standing wave (wave type B). Fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis of a sound field produced by the wave types ascertained that stable cavitation was present only under wave type A ultrasound irradiation. Under the two controlled wave types, the increase in Ca(2+) in L929 fibroblasts was observed with fluorescence imaging. Under wave type A ultrasound irradiation, an increase in Ca(2+) was observed; however, no increase in Ca(2+) was observed under wave type B ultrasound irradiation. We conclude that stable cavitation is involved in the increase of Ca(2+) in cells subjected to pulsed ultrasound.

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