Human erythrocytes represent candidates of choice as carriers for a wide range of drugs due to their unique biophysical and physiological properties. In this study, we used a sonoporation device generating and monitoring acoustic stable cavitation without any addition of contrast or nucleation agents. The device was evaluated for bovine serum albumin (BSA) delivery into human erythrocytes. After determining the adequate hematocrit percentage compatible with the generation of stable cavitation, we determined the optimal sonoporation conditions allowing BSA delivery while preserving erythrocyte integrity. Our results demonstrate that stable cavitation allows efficient delivery of proteins into human erythrocytes with limited lysis of these cells. In conclusion, our study allowed for the development of a stable and regulated cavitation program and the establishment of sonoporation conditions suitable for intracellular protein delivery while maintaining erythrocyte integrity. Additional investigations are needed to move from the proof of concept to a larger-scale application.
Keywords: bovine serum albumin; delivery; erythrocytes; stable cavitation.