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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2008 Jun 30;60(10):1209-17. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2008.03.010. Epub 2008 Apr 6.

Ultrasound for drug and gene delivery to the brain.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Noninvasive, transient, and local image-guided blood-brain barrier disruption (BBBD) has been demonstrated with focused ultrasound exposure in animal models. Most studies have combined low pressure amplitude and low time average acoustic power burst sonications with intravascular injection of pre-formed micro-bubbles to produce BBBD without damage to the neurons. The BBB has been shown to be healed within a few hours after the exposure. The combination of focused ultrasound beams with MR image guidance allows precise anatomical targeting as demonstrated by the delivery of several marker molecules in different animal models. This method may in the future have a significant impact on the diagnosis and treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Most notably, the delivery of the chemotherapy agents (liposomal Doxorubicin and Herceptin) has been shown in a rat model.

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