Send to

Choose Destination
J Biomech. 2012 May 11;45(8):1339-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.03.011. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Microbubble-induced sonoporation involved in ultrasound-mediated DNA transfection in vitro at low acoustic pressures.

Author information

Institute of Acoustics, Key Laboratory of Modern Acoustics, MOE, Department of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China.


In the present work, human breast cancer cells MCF-7 mixed with polyethylenimine: deoxyribonucleic acid complex and microbubbles were exposed to 1-MHz ultrasound at low acoustic driving pressures ranging from 0.05 to 0.3 MPa. The sonoporation pores generated on the cell membrane were examined with scanning electron microscopy. The transfection efficiency and cell viability were evaluated with flow cytometry. The results showed that ultrasound sonication under the current exposure condition could generate cell pores with mean size ranging from about 100 nm to 1.25 μm, and that larger sonoporation pores would be generated with the increasing acoustic pressure or longer treatment time, leading to the enhancement of transfection efficiency and the reduction of cell viability. The simulations based on the Marmottant model were performed to test the hypothesis that the microstreaming-induced shear stress might be involved in the mechanisms of the low-intensity ultrasound induced sonoporation. The calculated shear stress resulting from the micro-streaming ranged from 15 to 680 Pa corresponding to the applied acoustic pressures 0.05-0.3 MPa, which is sufficient to induce reversible sonoporation. This study indicates that the shear stress related bio-effects may provide a base for strategies aimed at targeted drug delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center