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Chin. Phys. B, 2014, Vol. 23(12): 124302    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/23/12/124302

Microstreaming velocity field and shear stress created by an oscillating encapsulated microbubble near a cell membrane

Wang Lia, Tu Juana, Guo Xia-Shenga, Xu Dib, Zhang Donga
a Institute of Acoustics, Key Laboratory of Modern Acoustics, Ministry of Education, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China;
b The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China
Abstract  Sonoporation mediated by microbubbles is being extensively studied as a promising technology to facilitate gene/drug delivery to cells. However, the theoretical study regarding the mechanisms involved in sonoporation is still in its infancy. Microstreaming generated by pulsating microbubble near the cell membrane is regarded as one of the most important mechanisms in the sonoporation process. Here, based on an encapsulated microbubble dynamic model with considering nonlinear rheological effects of both shell elasticity and viscosity, the microstreaming velocity field and shear stress generated by an oscillating microbubble near the cell membrane are theoretically simulated. Some factors that might affect the behaviors of microstreaming are thoroughly investigated, including the distance between the bubble center and cell membrane (d), shell elasticity (χ), and shell viscosity (κ). The results show that (i) the presence of cell membrane can result in asymmetric microstreaming velocity field, while the constrained effect of the membrane wall decays with increasing the bubble-cell distance; (ii) the bubble resonance frequency increases with the increase in d and χ, and the decrease in κ, although it is more dominated by the variation of shell elasticity; and (iii) the maximal microstreaming shear stress on the cell membrane increases rapidly with reducing the d, χ, and κ. The results suggest that microbubbles with softer and less viscous shell materials might be preferred to achieve more efficient sonoporation outcomes, and it is better to have bubbles located in the immediate vicinity of the cell membrane.
Keywords:  microstreaming      shear stress      sonoporation      encapsulated microbubbles  
Received:  09 May 2014      Revised:  07 June 2014      Published:  15 December 2014
PACS:  43.25.+y (Nonlinear acoustics)  
  43.80.+p (Bioacoustics)  
Fund: Projects supported by the National Basic Research Program, China (Grant No. 2011CB707900), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 81127901, 81227004, 81271589, 11374155, 11161120324, 11074123, 11174141, 11274170, 11104140, 11474001, and 11474161), the National High-Tech Research and Development Program, China (Grant No. 2012AA022702), and the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University of Ministry of Education of China (Grant No. NCET-11-0236).
Corresponding Authors:  Tu Juan, Zhang Dong     E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Wang Li, Tu Juan, Guo Xia-Sheng, Xu Di, Zhang Dong Microstreaming velocity field and shear stress created by an oscillating encapsulated microbubble near a cell membrane 2014 Chin. Phys. B 23 124302

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