News Release

Microbubbles controlled by acoustical tweezers for highly localized drug release

Peer-Reviewed Publication



image: Local release, assisted by an acoustic trap, of nanoparticles transported by microbubbles view more 

Credit: Diego Baresch, Institut de mécanique et d'ingénierie de Bordeaux (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux/Arts et Métiers Paristech/Bordeaux INP)

Microbubbles are used every day as contrast agents in medical sonography, and are the subject of intense research for the delivery of therapeutic agents. There are a number of options available to manipulate these microbubbles, including the use of light and sound, although the potential of the latter remains largely unexplored. In their research[1] published on 22 June 2020 in PNAS, CNRS researcher Diego Baresch and Valeria Garbin[2], a researcher at the Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands), show that it is entirely possible to manipulate microbubbles through the use of "acoustical tweezers," a tool developed in 2016 that uses an acoustical beam to trap an object without contact. In using these acoustical tweezers through layers of bio-mimicking and elastic materials, they successfully surpassed the limitations of optical tweezers,[3] which cannot propagate through opaque media (such as in vivo tissue). As a result, the scientists have opened the way for a broader application of acoustical tweezers in biology and biomedicine, for instance for the highly-localized, reproducible, and controlled delivery of medicine, or for in vitro tissue engineering using stem cells.



1 This research received a post-doctoral funding from the Royal Society (Newton fellowships). This research was conducted at Imperial College London in the department of Chemical Engineering

2 At the Institute of Mechanics and Engineering in Bordeaux (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux/Arts et Métiers Paristech/Bordeaux INP) and at TU Delft, Department of Chemical Engineering, The Netherlands..

3 Developed by Arthur Ashkin, co-laureate of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics.

A video is available from CNRS press office:

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.