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Sonophoresis is a process that exponentially increases the absorption of semisolid topical compounds, usually consisting of hydrophilic molecules and macromolecules,[1] (transdermal delivery) into the epidermis, dermis and skin appendages. Sonophoresis occurs because ultrasound waves stimulate micro-vibrations within the skin epidermis and increase the overall kinetic energy of molecules making up topical agents. This technology has been found to be most effective at low frequencies (less than 100 kHz).[2] It is widely used in hospitals to deliver drugs through the skin. Pharmacists compound the drugs by mixing them with a coupling agent (gel, cream, ointment) that transfers ultrasonic energy from the ultrasound transducer to the skin. The ultrasound probably enhances drug transport by cavitation, microstreaming, and heating. Sonophoresis is also used without drug delivery in physical therapy, and as a complementary modality for iontophoresis.


  1. ^ Polat BE, Blankschtein D, Langer R (2010). "Low-Frequency Sonophoresis: Application to the Transdermal Delivery of Macromolecules and Hydrophilic Drugs.". Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 7: 1415–32. PMC 3050019Freely accessible. PMID 21118031. doi:10.1517/17425247.2010.538679. 
  2. ^ Mitragotri S, Kost J (2004). "Low-frequency sonophoresis: a review.". Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 56: 589–601. PMID 15019748. doi:10.1016/j.addr.2003.10.024. 


  • Ansel's Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery System (Page 300) (ISBN 0-7817-4612-4)