Shock wave-mediated molecular delivery into cells

Tetsuya Kodama, Apostolos G. Doukas, Michael R. Hamblin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


A single shock wave generated by a shock tube is able to effectively deliver macromolecules such as fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran into the cytoplasm of living cells without causing cytotoxicity. We report on the effect of varying the molecular weight of the dextran and the number of shock waves on the efficiency of delivery into a cancer cell line. The fraction of cells permeabilized and the total fluorescence delivered were measured by flow cytometry, and the cellular viability by a tetrazolium assay on adherent cells and these values were compared to cell permeabilization using digitonin. Shock waves can deliver molecules of up to 2 000 000 molecular weight into the cytoplasm of cells without toxicity and may have applications in gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-194
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan 30


  • Digitonin
  • FITC-dextran
  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluorescence
  • Membrane permeabilization
  • Shock tube


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