Ultra-rapid modulation of neurite outgrowth in a gigahertz acoustic streaming system†
The development of rapid and efficient tools to modulate neurons is vital for the treatment of nervous system diseases. Here, a novel non-invasive neurite outgrowth modulation method based on a controllable acoustic streaming effect induced by an electromechanical gigahertz resonator microchip is reported. The results demonstrate that the gigahertz acoustic streaming can induce cell structure changes within a 10 min period of stimulation, which promotes a high proportion of neurite bearing cells and encourages longer neurite outgrowth. Specifically, the resonator stimulation not only promotes outgrowth of neurites, but also can be combined with chemical mediated methods to accelerate the direct entry of nerve growth factor (NGF) into cells, resulting in higher modulation efficacy. Owing to shear stress caused by the acoustic streaming effect, the resonator microchip mediates stress fiber formation and induces the neuron-like phenotype of PC12 cells. We suggest that this method may potentially be applied to precise single-cell modulation, as well as in the development of non-invasive and rapid disease treatment strategies.