Chemical tools for sonic injection of molecules in biological membranes

Maya Thanou (primary)
Institute of Pharmaceutical Science
Prof Nader Saffari (secondary)
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Ultrasonics Group


Acoustic nanodroplets and their Ultrasound induced cavitation is a novel tool of introducing molecules through biological membranes in a non-invasive and non-damaging method. Macromolecules can be pushed through cell membranes either through sonoporation or through the collapsing of the cavitation agent. In this project we aim to explore this phenomenon as a tool to introduce functional large molecules in and through the cells. Such tools can be used to investigate cell functions and design novel therapies with specific spatiotemporal action. The project will develop novel droplets made of functional molecules and in combination with Low frequency ultrasound will be investigated in endothelial and epithelial cell cultures


Image-guided thermosensitive liposomes for focused ultrasound drug delivery: Using NIRF-labelled lipids and topotecan to visualise the effects of hyperthermia in tumours.
Centelles MN, Wright M, So PW, Amrahli M, Xu XY, Stebbing J, Miller AD, Gedroyc W, Thanou M.
J Control Release. 2018;280:87-98.
Focused ultrasound induced hyperthermia accelerates and increases the uptake of anti-HER-2 antibodies in a xenograft model. Centelles MN, Wright M, Gedroyc W, Thanou M.
Pharmacol Res. 2016 Dec;114:144-151
The effects of ultrasound pressure and temperature fields in millisecond bubble nucleation. de Andrade MO, Haqshenas SR, Pahk KJ, Saffari N Ultrasonics Sonochemistry 2019; 55,262-272
Recent advances in oral delivery of biologics: nanomedicine and physical modes of delivery.
Vllasaliu D, Thanou M, Stolnik S, Fowler R.Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2018 15(8):759-770.
Microbubble Agents: New Directions. Stride E, Segers T, Lajoinie G, Cherkaoui S, Bettinger T, Versluis M, Borden M. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2020 46(6):1326-1343

Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyChemical Biology
Techniques & Approaches
BiophysicsMathematics / Statistics