Effects of therapeutic ultrasound on the nucleus and genomic DNA

Yukihiro Furusawa, Mariame A. Hassan, Qing Li Zhao, Ryohei Ogawa, Yoshiaki Tabuchi, Takashi Kondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, data have been accumulating on the ability of ultrasound to affect at a distance inside the cell. Previous conceptions about therapeutic ultrasound were mainly based on compromising membrane permeability and triggering some biochemical reactions. However, it was shown that ultrasound can access deep to the nuclear territory resulting in enhanced macromolecular localization as well as alterations in gene and protein expression. Recently, we have reported on the occurrence of DNA double-strand breaks in different human cell lines exposed to ultrasound in vitro with some insight into the subsequent DNA damage response and repair pathways. The impact of these observed effects again sways between extremes. It could be advantageous if employed in gene therapy, wound and bone fracture-accelerated healing to promote cellular proliferation, or in cancer eradication if the DNA lesions would culminate in cell death. However, it could be a worrying sign if they were penultimate to further cellular adaptations to stresses and thus shaking the safety of ultrasound application in diagnosis and therapy. In this review, an overview of the rationale of therapeutic ultrasound and the salient knowledge on ultrasound-induced effects on the nucleus and genomic DNA will be presented. The implications of the findings will be discussed hopefully to provide guidance to future ultrasound research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2061-2068
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Cavitation
  • DNA damage repair response
  • DNA strand breaks
  • Free radicals
  • Mechanical effects
  • Therapeutic ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of therapeutic ultrasound on the nucleus and genomic DNA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this