The adverse side-effects of chemotherapy can be minimized by delivering the therapeutics in time and space to only the desired target site. Ultrasound offers one fairly non-invasive method of accomplishing such precise delivery because its energy can disrupt nanosized containers that are designed to sequester the drug until the ultrasonic event. Such containers include micelles, liposomes and solid nanoparticles. Conventional micelles and liposomes are less acoustically sensitive to ultrasound because the strongest forces associated with ultrasound are generated by gas–liquid interfaces, which both of these conventional constructs lack. Acoustically activated carriers often incorporate a gas phase, either actively as preformed bubbles, or passively such as taking advantage of dissolved gasses that form bubbles upon insonation. Newer concepts include using liquids that form gas when insonated. This review focuses on the ultrasonically activated delivery of therapeutics from micelles, liposomes and solid particles. In vitro and in vivo results are summarized and discussed. Novel structural concepts from micelles and liposomes are presented. Mechanisms of ultrasonically activated release are discussed. The future of ultrasound in drug delivery is envisioned.