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Small. 2017 May;13(18). doi: 10.1002/smll.201602962. Epub 2017 Feb 13.

Hypersonic Poration: A New Versatile Cell Poration Method to Enhance Cellular Uptake Using a Piezoelectric Nano-Electromechanical Device.

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College of Precision Instrument and Opto-electronics Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China.
State Key Laboratory of Precision Measuring Technology and Instruments, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China.
School of Life Sciences, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China.


Efficient delivery of genes and therapeutic agents to the interior of the cell is critical for modern biotechnology. Herein, a new type of chemical-free cell poration method-hypersonic poration-is developed to improve the cellular uptake, especially the nucleus uptake. The hypersound (≈GHz) is generated by a designed piezoelectric nano-electromechanical resonator, which directly induces normal/shear stress and "molecular bombardment" effects on the bilayer membranes, and creates reversible temporal nanopores improving the membrane permeability. Both theory analysis and cellular uptake experiments of exogenous compounds prove the high delivery efficiency of hypersonic poration. Since target molecules in cells are accumulated with the treatment, the delivered amount can be controlled by tuning the treatment time. Furthermore, owing to the intrinsic miniature of the resonator, localized drug delivery at a confined spatial location and tunable arrays of the resonators that are compatible with multiwell plate can be achieved. The hypersonic poration method shows great delivery efficacy combined with advantage of scalability, tunable throughput, and simplification in operation and provides a potentially powerful strategy in the field of molecule delivery, cell transfection, and gene therapy.


cell porations; intracellular delivery; piezoelectric nano-electromechanical devices


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