Drug delivery from jetting cavitation bubbles

Claus-Dieter Ohl (Speaker), Manish Arora (Contributor), Lohse, D. (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The usage of ultrasound to deliver non-invasively and remotely drugs to cells is becoming an emerging technology. Still, the mechanism leading to the drug uptake is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that a rather complex pathway excites the uptake of large molecules through the protective cell membrane. This is demonstrated for adherent cells on a substrate which are exposed to a single cycle of a strong ultrasound wave.

During the negative pressure part of the wave cavitation bubbles are nucleated and expand spherically. However, during the shrinkage of the bubble a well known liquid jet is formed which flows towards the substrate with the attached cells. The impinging wall jet when spreading radially on the substrate creates a boundary layer with strong shear. This shear stress when imposed on the cells causes either their detachment, permanent poration, or reparable poration of the cell membranes.

To document the sequence of events high speed sequences of the bubble dynamics and cell detachment, fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy are presented. Further, we model the kinetics of cell detachment with an analytical and a numerical solutions of the Navier-Stokes equation.
Period5 Mar 2005
Event titleDPG Frühjahrstagung 2005 Berlin: (DPG Spring Meeting) - Physik seit Einstein
Event typeConference
LocationBerlin, Germany
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • METIS-227662