J. Tudor jtudor at
Tue Dec 27 15:40:08 EST 1994

lw75 (Lynne_A_WHITEHEAD at UMAIL.UMD.EDU) wrote:
: Hi there!

: Can someone please tell me the exact (in as much detail as possible)
: mechanism of how sonication damages bacterial cell walls?

: Thanks!
: Happy new year!

: Lynne Whitehead
: U. of Maryland


The tip of the probe vibrates rapidly and creates microscopic bubbles that then
collapse.  These bubbles, or cavities, create transient vacuums and high shear
gradients that disrupt the cells essentially by pressure changes at a microscopic level.  The process is referred to as cavitation.
You might check out Hughes, et al., Methods in Microbiology, vol. 5B, pp 1-54

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