Comprehensive review on ultrasound-responsive theranostic nanomaterials: mechanisms, structures and medical applications

Sepand Tehrani Fateh, Lida Moradi, Elmira Kohan, Michael R. Hamblin, Amin Shiralizadeh Dezfuli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The field of theranostics has been rapidly growing in recent years and nanotechnology has played a major role in this growth. Nanomaterials can be constructed to respond to a variety of different stimuli which can be internal (enzyme activity, redox potential, pH changes, temperature changes) or external (light, heat, magnetic fields, ultrasound). Theranostic nanomaterials can respond by producing an imaging signal and/or a therapeutic effect, which frequently involves cell death. Since ultrasound (US) is already well established as a clinical imaging modality, it is attractive to combine it with rationally designed nanoparticles for theranostics. The mechanisms of US interactions include cavitation microbubbles (MBs), acoustic droplet vaporization, acoustic radiation force, localized thermal effects, reactive oxygen species generation, sonoluminescence, and sonoporation. These effects can result in the release of encapsulated drugs or genes at the site of interest as well as cell death and considerable image enhancement. The present review discusses US-responsive theranostic nanomaterials under the following categories: MBs, micelles, liposomes (conventional and echogenic), niosomes, nanoemulsions, polymeric nanoparticles, chitosan nanocapsules, dendrimers, hydrogels, nanogels, gold nanoparticles, titania nanostructures, carbon nanostructures, mesoporous silica nanoparticles, fuel-free nano/micro-motors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)808-862
Number of pages55
JournalBeilstein Journal of Nanotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • smart nanomaterials
  • sonodynamic therapy
  • sonoporation
  • theranostics
  • ultrasound
  • ultrasound responsive nanomaterials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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