Dynamics of sonoporation correlated with acoustic cavitation activities

Yun Zhou, Jianmin Cui, Cheri X. Deng

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53 Scopus citations


Sonoporation has been exploited as a promising nonviral strategy for intracellular delivery of drugs and genes. The technique utilizes ultrasound application, often facilitated by the presence of microbubbles, to generate transient, non-specific pores on the cell membrane. However, due to the complexity and transient nature of ultrasound-mediated bubble interaction with cells, no direct correlation of sonoporation with bubble activities such as acoustic cavitation, i.e., the ultrasound-driven growth and violent collapse of bubbles, has been obtained. Using Xenopus oocytes as a model system, this study investigated sonoporation in a single cell affected by colocalized cavitation in real time. A confocally and collinearly-aligned dual-frequency ultrasound transducer assembly was used to generate focused ultrasound pulses (1.5 MHz) to induce focal sonoporation while detecting the broadband cavitation acoustic emission within the same focal zone. Dynamic sonoporation of the single cell was monitored via the transmembrane current of the cell under voltage-clamp. Our results demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, the spatiotemporal correlation of sonoporation with cavitation at the single-cell level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L51-L53
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2008


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