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J Control Release. 2010 Nov 20;148(1):18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2010.06.012. Epub 2010 Jun 26.

Focused ultrasound and microbubbles for enhanced extravasation.

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Philips Research Europe, HTC11, 5656 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Electronic address:
Philips Research Europe, HTC11, 5656 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Philips Research North America, 345 Scarborough Road, Briarcliff Manor, NY105010, USA.
Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0158, USA.


The permeability of blood vessels for albumin can be altered by using ultrasound and polymer or lipid-shelled microbubbles. The region in which the microbubbles were destroyed with focused ultrasound was quantified in gel phantoms as a function of pressure, number of cycles and type of microbubble. At 2MPa the destruction took place in a fairly wide area for a lipid-shelled agent, while for polymer-shelled agents at this setting, distinct destruction spots with a radius of only 1mm were obtained. When microbubbles with a thicker shell were used, the pressure above which the bubbles were destroyed shifts to higher values. In vivo both lipid and polymer microbubbles increased the extravasation of the albumin binding dye Evans Blue, especially in muscle leading to about 6-8% of the injected dose to extravasate per gram muscle tissue 30 min after start of the treatment, while no Evans Blue could be detected in muscle in the absence of microbubbles. Variation in the time between ultrasound treatment and Evans Blue injection, demonstrated that the time window for promoting extravasation is at least an hour at the settings used. In MC38 tumors, extravasation already occurred without ultrasound and only a trend towards enhancement with about a factor of 2 could be established with a maximum percentage injected dose per gram of 3%. Ultrasound mediated microbubble destruction especially enhances the extravasation in the highly vascularized outer part of the MC38 tumor and adjacent muscle and would, therefore, be most useful for release of, for instance, anti-angiogenic drugs.

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