We investigated the potential damage inflicted on erythrocytes by acoustic radiation force when the cells are concentrated by a 500-kHz ultrasonic standing wave at the pressure node. The extent of the damage was estimated from the concentrations of potassium ions, iron complexes, and lactate dehydrogenase released from the cells. After 2 min of ultrasound irradiation at 12.8 mJ/m3, the cells concentrated on the pressure node, with a cell distribution half-width of 138 μm; no significant release of intracellular components was detected, even after 15 min of irradiation. The results indicate that even small ions like potassium are not released as a result of ultrasound irradiation on cell membranes without cavitation, and they demonstrate the potential use of acoustic radiation force for concentrating living cells in biomedical applications.
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