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Science File | IN BRIEF

Ultrasound Found to Help Drugs Enter Cells

September 09, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

Ultrasound energy can briefly open a door into cells to let drugs and other compounds inside, researchers reported Tuesday in a study that could lead to improvements in medical care.

Ultrasound causes the violent collapse of bubbles, which in turn creates enough force to open holes in the outer membranes of cells, the team at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University in Atlanta reported. The holes, which close quickly, allow the entry of molecules as large as 50 nanometers in diameter -- larger than most oral drugs and many proteins, and similar in size to the DNA used in gene therapy, the researchers reported in the journal Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology.

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