Nanobubbles for enhanced ultrasound imaging of tumors
Tinghui Yin1*, Ping Wang1*, Rongqin Zheng1, Bowen Zheng1, Du Cheng2, Xinling Zhang1, Xintao Shuai2
1Department of Medical Ultrasonic, Third Affiliated Hospital, 2PCFM Laboratory of the Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Abstract: The fabrication and initial applications of nanobubbles (NBs) have shown promising results in recent years. A small particle size is a basic requirement for ultrasound contrast-enhanced agents that penetrate tumor blood vessel pores to allow for targeted imaging and therapy. However, the nanoscale size of the particles used has the disadvantage of weakening the imaging ability of clinical diagnostic ultrasound. In this work, we fabricated a lipid NBs contrast-enhanced ultrasound agent and evaluated its passive targeting ability in vivo. The results showed that the NBs were small (436.8 ± 5.7 nm), and in vitro ultrasound imaging suggested that the ultrasonic imaging ability is comparable to that of microbubbles (MBs). In vivo experiments confirmed the ability of NBs to passively target tumor tissues. The NBs remained in the tumor area for a longer period because they exhibited enhanced permeability and retention. Direct evidence was obtained by direct observation of red fluorescence-dyed NBs in tumor tissue using confocal laser scanning microscopy. We have demonstrated the ability to fabricate NBs that can be used for the in vivo contrast-enhanced imaging of tumor tissue and that have potential for drug/gene delivery.
Keywords: phospholipids, ultrasound, contrast agent, tumor-targeted
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