Non-contact High-Frequency Ultrasound Microbeam Stimulation for Studying Mechanotransduction in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells

Jae Youn Hwang, Hae Gyun Lim, Chi Woo Yoon, Kwok Ho Lam, Sangpil Yoon, Changyang Lee, Chi Tat Chiu, Bong Jin Kang, Hyung Ham Kim, K. Kirk Shung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


We describe how contactless high-frequency ultrasound microbeam stimulation (HFUMS) is capable of eliciting cytoplasmic calcium (Ca2+) elevation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. The cellular mechanotransduction process, which includes cell sensing and adaptation to the mechanical micro-environment, has been studied extensively in recent years. A variety of tools for mechanical stimulation have been developed to produce cellular responses. We developed a novel tool, a highly focused ultrasound microbeam, for non-contact cell stimulation at a microscale. This tool, at 200 MHz, was applied to human umbilical vein endothelial cells to investigate its potential to elicit an elevation in cytoplasmic Ca2+levels. It was found that the response was dose dependent, and moreover, extracellular Ca2+and cytoplasmic Ca2+stores were involved in the Ca2+elevation. These results suggest that high-frequency ultrasound microbeam stimulation is potentially a novel non-contact tool for studying cellular mechanotransduction if the acoustic pressures at such high frequencies can be quantified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2172-2182
Number of pages11
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Calcium fluorescence imaging
  • High-frequency ultrasound microbeam
  • Human umbilical vein endothelial cells
  • Mechanotransduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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