Making cells dance to ultrasound

Can we use ultrasound to remote-control the location and motion of specific cells? Yes! We show that gas vesicles are exceptionally good “acoustic antennae”, experiencing strong acoustic forces relative to their nm size. In ultrasound gradients, GVs and cells expressing them get pushed more strongly – and in the opposite direction – from other biological materials. As a result, we can selectively push them, trap them, pattern them and sort them selectively under acoustic remote control. Congratulations to Di and colleagues on this foundational advance in acoustic actuation and sonogenetics.

Wu D, Baresch D, Cook C, Duan M, Malounda D, Maresca D, Abundo MP, Lee J, Shivaei S, Mittelstein DR, Qiu T, Fischer P, Shapiro MG*. Biomolecular actuators for genetically selective acoustic manipulation of cells. Science Advances 9, eadd9186 (2023). article | press | video

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