Focused Ultrasound Treatment of a Spheroid In Vitro Tumour Model

Lisa Landgraf, Adam Kozlowski, Xinrui Zhang, Marc Fournelle, Franz Josef Becker, Steffen Tretbar, Andreas Melzer (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


Focused ultrasound (FUS) is a non‐invasive technique producing a variety of biological effects by either thermal or mechanical mechanisms of ultrasound interaction with the targeted tissue. FUS could bring benefits, e.g., tumour sensitisation, immune stimulation, and targeted drug delivery, but investigation of FUS effects at the cellular level is still missing. New techniques are commonly tested in vitro on two‐dimensional (2D) monolayer cancer cell culture models. The 3D tumour model—spheroid—is mainly utilised to mimic solid tumours from an architectural stand-point. It is a promising method to simulate the characteristics of tumours in vitro and their various responses to therapeutic alternatives. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of FUS on human prostate and glioblastoma cancer tumour spheroids in vitro. The experimental follow‐up enclosed the measurements of spheroid integrity and growth kinetics, DNA damage, and cellular metabolic activity by measuring intracellular ATP content in the spheroids. Our results showed that pulsed FUS treatment induced molecular effects in 3D tumour models. With the disruption of the spheroid integrity, we observed an increase in DNA double‐strand breaks, leading to damage in the cancer cells depending on the cancer cell type.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1518
Number of pages14
Issue number9
Early online date30 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • focused ultrasound
  • FUS
  • glioblastoma
  • in vitro experiments
  • prostate cancer
  • spheroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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