An ultrasonically actuated needle promotes the transport of nanoparticles and fluids

Emanuele Perra, Nick Hayward, Kenneth P.H. Pritzker, Heikki J. Nieminen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Non-invasive therapeutic ultrasound (US) methods, such as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), have limited access to tissue targets shadowed by bones or presence of gas. This study demonstrates that an ultrasonically actuated medical needle can be used to translate nanoparticles and fluids under the action of nonlinear phenomena, potentially overcoming some limitations of HIFU. A simulation study was first conducted to study the delivery of a tracer with an ultrasonically actuated needle (33 kHz) inside a porous medium acting as a model for soft tissue. The model was then validated experimentally in different concentrations of agarose gel showing a close match with the experimental results, when diluted soot nanoparticles (diameter < 150 nm) were employed as delivered entity. An additional simulation study demonstrated a threefold increase in the volume covered by the delivered agent in liver under a constant injection rate, when compared to without US. This method, if developed to its full potential, could serve as a cost effective way to improve safety and efficacy of drug therapies by maximizing the concentration of delivered entities within, e.g., a small lesion, while minimizing exposure outside the lesion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-265
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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