# Acoustic Streaming and Its Applications

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Department of Physics, 82 University Place, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA

^{2}

Institute of Ultrasound Engineering in Medicine, College of Biomedical Engineering, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China

Received: 26 August 2018 / Revised: 29 September 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Bubble Acoustics)

Broadly speaking, acoustic streaming is generated by a nonlinear acoustic wave with a finite amplitude propagating in a viscid fluid. The fluid volume elements of molecules, $dV$ , are forced to oscillate at the same frequency as the incident acoustic wave. Due to the nature of the nonlinearity of the acoustic wave, the second-order effect of the wave propagation produces a time-independent flow velocity (DC flow) in addition to a regular oscillatory motion (AC motion). Consequently, the fluid moves in a certain direction, which depends on the geometry of the system and its boundary conditions, as well as the parameters of the incident acoustic wave. The small scale acoustic streaming in a fluid is called “microstreaming”. When it is associated with acoustic cavitation, which refers to activities of microbubbles in a general sense, it is often called “cavitation microstreaming”. For biomedical applications, microstreaming usually takes place in a boundary layer at proximity of a solid boundary, which could be the membrane of a cell or walls of a container. To satisfy the non-slip boundary condition, the flow motion at a solid boundary should be zero. The magnitude of the DC acoustic streaming velocity, as well as the oscillatory flow velocity near the boundary, drop drastically; consequently, the acoustic streaming velocity generates a DC velocity gradient and the oscillatory flow velocity gradient produces an AC velocity gradient; they both will produce shear stress. The former is a DC shear stress and the latter is AC shear stress. It was observed the DC shear stress plays the dominant role, which may enhance the permeability of molecules passing through the cell membrane. This phenomenon is called “sonoporation”. Sonoporation has shown a great potential for the targeted delivery of DNA, drugs, and macromolecules into a cell. Acoustic streaming has also been used in fluid mixing, boundary cooling, and many other applications. The goal of this work is to give a brief review of the basic mathematical theory for acoustic microstreaming related to the aforementioned applications. The emphasis will be on its applications in biotechnology.