Site-specific sonoporation of human melanoma cells at the cellular level using high lateral-resolution ultrasonic micro-transducer arrays

Myo Thein, An Cheng, Payal Khanna, Chunfeng Zhang, Eun Joo Park, Daniel Ahmed, Christopher J. Goodrich, Fareid Asphahani, Fengbing Wu, Nadine B. Smith, Cheng Dong, Xiaoning Jiang, Miqin Zhang, Jian Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


We developed a new instrumental method by which human melanoma cells (LU1205) are sonoporated via radiation pressures exerted by highly-confined ultrasonic waves produced by high lateral-resolution ultrasonic micro-transducer arrays (UMTAs). The method enables cellular-level site-specific sonoporation within the cell monolayer due to UMTAs and can be applicable in the delivery of drugs and gene products in cellular assays. In this method, cells are seeded on the biochip that employs UMTAs for high spatial resolution and specificity. UMTAs are driven by 30-MHz sinusoidal signals and the resulting radiation pressures induce sonoporation in the targeted cells. The sonoporation degree and the effective lateral resolution of UMTAs are determined by performing fluorescent microscopy and analysis of carboxylic-acid-derivatized CdSe/ZnS quantum dots passively transported into the cells. Models representing the transducer-generated ultrasound radiation pressure, the ultrasound-inflicted cell membrane wound, and the transmembrane transport through the wound are developed to determine the ultrasound-pressure-dependent wound size and enhanced cellular uptake of nanoparticles. Model-based calculations show that the effective wound size and cellular uptake of nanoparticles increase linearly with increasing ultrasound pressure (i.e., at applied radiation pressures of 0.21, 0.29, and 0.40. MPa, the ultrasound-induced initial effective wound radii are 150, 460, and 650. nm, respectively, and the post-sonoporation intracellular quantum-dot concentrations are 7.8, 22.8, and 29.9. nM, respectively) and the threshold pressure required to induce sonoporation in LU1205 cells is ~0.12 MPa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 15 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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