Taiwanese Researchers Control Cells with Sound


Research illustration mice taiwan sonogeneticsSonogenetic Modulation of Cellular Activities Using an Engineered Auditory-Sensing Protein

Taiwanese scientists recently engineered a biological system for using focused ultrasound to remotely control living cells.

The team successfully removed sound-sensitive amino acids from an echolocating species and genetically inserted them into auditory-sensing prestin proteins of mice. The newly engineered cells could then respond to the sound waves created by focused ultrasound.

This type of sound control is called sonogenetic modulation. This idea to use engineering to manipulate cells is of interest to the focused ultrasound community for various reasons. If the manipulated cells are neurons, this process can be used for neuromodulation. If the cells are not neurons, this type of engineering can change other functions, such as cellular membrane permeability.

See NANO Letters >