Characterization of a Setup to test the Impact of High-Amplitude Pressure Waves on Living Cells

M Schmidt and U Kahlert and J Wessolleck and D Maciaczyk and B Merkt and J Maciaczyk and J Osterholz and G Nikkhah and MO Steinhauser, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 4, 3849 (2014).

DOI: 10.1038/srep03849

The impact of pressure waves on cells may provide several possible applications in biology and medicine including the direct killing of tumors, drug delivery or gene transfection. In this study we characterize the physical properties of mechanical pressure waves generated by a nanosecond laser pulse in a setup with well-defined cell culture conditions. To systematically characterize the system on the relevant length and time scales (micrometers and nanoseconds) we use photon Doppler velocimetry (PDV) and obtain velocity profiles of the cell culture vessel at the passage of the pressure wave. These profiles serve as input for numerical pressure wave simulations that help to further quantify the pressure conditions on the cellular length scale. On the biological level we demonstrate killing of glioblastoma cells and quantify experimentally the pressure threshold for cell destruction.

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