Quantitative Analysis of Acoustic Pressure for Sonophoresis and Its Effect on Transdermal Penetration

Yuta Kurashina, Risa Asano, Makoto Matsui, Takahiro Nomoto, Keita Ando, Kentaro Nakamura, Nobuhiro Nishiyama, Yoshitaka Kitamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasound facilitates the penetration of macromolecular compounds through the skin and offers a promising non-invasive technique for transdermal delivery. However, technical difficulties in quantifying ultrasound-related parameters have restricted further analysis of the sonophoresis mechanism. In this study, we devise a bolt-clamped Langevin transducer-based sonophoresis device that enables us to measure with a thin lead zirconate titanate (PZT) sensor. One-dimensional acoustic theory accounting for wave interaction at the skin interface indicates that the acoustic pressure and cavitation onset on the skin during sonophoresis are sensitive to the subcutaneous support, meaning that there is a strong need to perform the pressure measurement in an experimental environment replacing the human body. From a series of the experiments with our new device, the transdermal penetration of polystyrene, silica and gold nanoparticles is found to depend on the size and material of the particles, as well as the hardness of the subcutaneous support material. We speculate from the acoustic pressure measurement that the particles' penetration results from the mechanical action of cavitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-944
Number of pages12
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic impedance
  • Acoustic pressure
  • Nanoparticles
  • Sonophoresis
  • Transdermal penetration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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