Tornado-inspired acoustic vortex tweezer for trapping and manipulating microbubbles

Wei Chen Lo, Ching Hsiang Fan, Yi-Ju Ho, Chia Wei Lin, Chih Kuang Yeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Spatially concentrating and manipulating biotherapeutic agents within the circulatory system is a longstanding challenge in medical applications due to the high velocity of blood flow, which greatly limits drug leakage and retention of the drug in the targeted region. To circumvent the disadvantages of current methods for systemic drug delivery,we propose tornado-inspired acoustic vortex tweezer (AVT) that generates net forces for noninvasive intravascular trapping of lipid-shelled gaseous microbubbles (MBs). MBs are used in a diverse range of medical applications, including as ultrasound contrast agents, for permeabilizing vessels, and as drug/gene carriers. We demonstrate that AVT can be used to successfully trap MBs and increase their local concentration in both static and flow conditions. Furthermore, MBs signals within mouse capillaries could be locally improved 1.7-fold and the location of trapped MBs could still be manipulated during the initiation of AVT. The proposed AVT technique is a compact, easy-to-use, and biocompatible method that enables systemic drug administration with extremely low doses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2023188118
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - 26 Jan 2021


  • Acoustic tweezers
  • Acoustic vortex
  • Microbubbles
  • Trapping
  • Ultrasound


Dive into the research topics of 'Tornado-inspired acoustic vortex tweezer for trapping and manipulating microbubbles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this