When ultrasound passes through certain types of enzymes, depending on the mechanism of reaction involved, it can impart energy. This energy leads to altered chemical reaction rates (increase/decrease in how many chemical reactions occur given in a certain timeframe).
This has been noted in alpha-amylase and other glycoside hydrolase class enzymes, and also some enzymes involved in transesterification.
Diagnostic ultrasound — which is used for fetal imaging — can alter enzyme activity, too.
In plants, the way ultrasound affects enzymes can change the plant’s lifelong development. Exposure to ultrasound at seed super charges enzymes involved in breaking down starch into nutrients, which is important for the first developing seedling.
It has not been studied how ultrasound’s impact on enzymes affects human development. It should be. We need more research to ensure that routine fetal scanning is not causing unintended harm.