Manipulation of biological objects using acoustic bubbles: A review

Yun Chen, Sungyon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


When a bubble oscillates in an acoustically driven pressure field, its oscillations result in an attractive force on micro-sized objects in the near field. At the same time, the objects are subject to a viscous drag force due to the streaming flow that is generated by the oscillating bubble. Based on these secondary effects, oscillating bubbles have recently been implemented in biological applications to control and manipulate micron-sized objects. These objects include live microorganisms, such as Caenorhabditis elegans and Daphnia (water flea), as well as cells and vesicles. Oscillating bubbles are also used in delivering drugs or genes inside human blood vessels. In this review paper, we explain the underlying physical mechanism behind oscillating bubbles and discuss some of their key applications in biology, with the focus on the manipulation of microorganisms and cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-968
Number of pages10
JournalIntegrative and Comparative Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.


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