Background/aim: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in the evaluation of many cancer types; however, the detection usually presents a challenge. Further assays for a better understanding of the fundamental roles of MMPs in pathophysiology are still needed. We aimed to use an activatable probe in scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM) to evaluate acoustically if the probe can aid the visualization of the effects of in vitro MMP activity. Materials and methods: We applied scanning acoustic impedance microscopy to obtain acoustic impedance maps of the cell line models of HT1080, THP-1, and SK-MEL-28 with and without MMPSense 680 probe incubation. We visually validated our results using confocal laser scanning microscopy imaging. We further analyzed the effects of MMPSense 680 probe on cell viabilities to eliminate any artifacts. Results: This is the first study presenting the applicability of SAM in the acoustical evaluation of MMPSense 680 probe cleavage in a cellular medium through acoustic impedance measurements. We proposed that SAM measurement with the activatable probe can be used as an effective tool for studying the acoustical variations of MMP activities in cell lines. As a result, we detected MMPSense 680 probe cleavage in HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cell line. Conclusion: We showed that SAM with the smart probe can detect proteolytic activity using MMPSense 680 in in vitro HT1080 cell line by acoustic impedance measurements. SAM could be proposed as an alternative tool leading a novel way for a better understanding of the roles of MMPs in cancer progression before clinical settings.