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Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulates proliferation of stem/progenitor cells: what we need to know to translate basic science research into clinical applications

1 Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
2 Department of Andrology, Renmin Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan 442000, China
3 Hubei Key Laboratory of Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan 442000, China
4 Department of Urology, Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI 96859, USA
5 Department of Urology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200080, China

Correspondence Address:
Tom F Lue,
Knuppe Molecular Urology Laboratory, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aja.aja_25_21

PMID: 33818526

Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) is a promising therapy that has been increasingly explored in basic research and clinical applications. LIPUS is an appealing therapeutic option as it is a noninvasive treatment that has many advantages, including no risk of infection or tissue damage and no known adverse reactions. LIPUS has been shown to have many benefits including promotion of tissue healing, angiogenesis, and tissue regeneration; inhibition of inflammation and pain relief; and stimulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. The biophysical mechanisms of LIPUS remain unclear and the studies are ongoing. In recent years, more and more research has focused on the relationship between LIPUS and stem/progenitor cells. A comprehensive search of the PubMed and Embase databases to July 2020 was performed. LIPUS has many effects on stem cells. Studies show that LIPUS can stimulate stem cells in vitro; promote stem cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration; maintain stem cell activity; alleviate the problems of insufficient seed cell source, differentiation, and maturation; and circumvent the low efficiency of stem cell transplantation. The mechanisms involved in the effects of LIPUS are not fully understood, but the effects demonstrated in studies thus far have been favorable. Much additional research is needed before LIPUS can progress from basic science research to large-scale clinical dissemination and application.

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