• laser-generated focused ultrasound;
  • cavitation;
  • cell detachment;
  • drug delivery


We utilize laser-generated focused ultrasound (LGFU) to create targeted mechanical disturbance on a few cells. The LGFU is transmitted through an optoacoustic lens that converts laser pulses into focused ultrasound. The tight focusing (<100 µm) and high peak pressure of the LGFU produces cavitational disturbances at a localized spot with micro-jetting and secondary shock-waves arising from micro-bubble collapse. We demonstrate that LGFU can be used as a non-contact, non-ionizing, high-precision tool to selectively detach a single cell from its culture substrate. Furthermore, we explore the possibility of biomolecule delivery in a small population of cells targeted by LGFU at pressure amplitudes below and above the cavitation threshold. We experimentally confirm that cavitational disruption is required for delivery of propidium iodide, a membrane-impermeable nucleic acid-binding dye, into cells. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)