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    Noninvasive and localized neuronal delivery using short ultrasonic pulses and microbubbles. Choi James J,Selert Kirsten,Vlachos Fotios,Wong Anna,Konofagou Elisa E Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Focused ultrasound activation of systemically administered microbubbles is a noninvasive and localized drug delivery method that can increase vascular permeability to large molecular agents. Yet the range of acoustic parameters responsible for drug delivery remains unknown, and, thus, enhancing the delivery characteristics without compromising safety has proven to be difficult. We propose a new basis for ultrasonic pulse design in drug delivery through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) that uses principles of probability of occurrence and spatial distribution of cavitation in contrast to the conventionally applied magnitude of cavitation. The efficacy of using extremely short (2.3 μs) pulses was evaluated in 27 distinct acoustic parameter sets at low peak-rarefactional pressures (0.51 MPa or lower). The left hippocampus and lateral thalamus were noninvasively sonicated after administration of Definity microbubbles. Disruption of the BBB was confirmed by delivery of fluorescently tagged 3-, 10-, or 70-kDa dextrans. Under some conditions, dextrans were distributed homogeneously throughout the targeted region and accumulated at specific hippocampal landmarks and neuronal cells and axons. No histological damage was observed at the most effective parameter set. Our results have broadened the design space of parameters toward a wider safety window that may also increase vascular permeability. The study also uncovered a set of parameters that enhances the dose and distribution of molecular delivery, overcoming standard trade-offs in avoiding associated damage. Given the short pulses used similar to diagnostic ultrasound, new critical parameters were also elucidated to clearly separate therapeutic ultrasound from disruption-free diagnostic ultrasound. 10.1073/pnas.1105116108
    Unilateral Opening of Rat Blood-Brain Barrier Assisted by Diagnostic Ultrasound Targeted Microbubbles Destruction. Xu Yali,Cui Hai,Zhu Qiong,Hua Xing,Xia Hongmei,Tan Kaibin,Gao Yunhua,Zhao Jing,Liu Zheng BioMed research international Objective. Blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a key obstacle that prevents the medication from blood to the brain. Microbubble-enhanced cavitation by focused ultrasound can open the BBB and proves to be valuable in the brain drug delivery. The study aimed to explore the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of unilateral opening of BBB using diagnostic ultrasound targeted microbubbles destruction in rats. Methods. A transtemporal bone irradiation of diagnostic ultrasound and intravenous injection of lipid-coated microbubbles were performed at unilateral hemisphere. Pathological changes were monitored. Evans Blue extravasation grades, extraction from brain tissue, and fluorescence optical density were quantified. Lanthanum nitrate was traced by transmission electron microscopy. Results. After diagnostic ultrasound mediated microbubbles destruction, Evans Blue extravasation and fluorescence integrated optical density were significantly higher in the irradiated hemisphere than the contralateral side (all p < 0.01). Erythrocytes extravasations were demonstrated in the ultrasound-exposed hemisphere (4 ± 1, grade 2) while being invisible in the control side. Lanthanum nitrate tracers leaked through interendothelial cleft and spread to the nerve fiber existed in the irradiation side. Conclusions. Transtemporal bone irradiation under DUS mediated microbubble destruction provides us with a more accessible, safer, and higher selective BBB opening approach in rats, which is advantageous in brain targeted drugs delivery. 10.1155/2016/4759750
    Blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption using a diagnostic ultrasound scanner and Definity in Mice. Bing Kristin Frinkley,Howles Gabriel P,Qi Yi,Palmeri Mark L,Nightingale Kathryn R Ultrasound in medicine & biology The objective of this work was to determine whether diagnostic ultrasound and contrast agent could be used to transcranially and nondestructively disrupt the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in mice under ultrasound image guidance and to quantify that disruption using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance (MR) contrast agent. Each mouse was placed under isoflurane anesthesia and the hair on top of its skull was removed before treatment. A diagnostic ultrasound transducer was placed in a water bag coupled with gel on the mouse skull. Definity (ultrasound [US] contrast) and Magnevist (MR contrast) were injected concurrent with the start of a custom ultrasound transmission sequence. The transducer was translated along the rostral-caudal axis to insonify three spatial locations (2mm apart) along one half of the brain for each sequence. T1-weighted MR images were used to quantify the volume of tissue over which the BBB disruption allowed Magnevist to enter the brain, based upon increases in MR contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) compared with the noninsonified portions of the brain. Ultrasonic frequency, pressure and pulse duration, as well as Definity dose and injection time were varied. Preliminary results suggest that a threshold exists for BBB opening dependent upon both pressure and pulse duration (consistent with reports in the literature performed at lower frequencies). A range of typical diagnostic frequencies (e.g., 5.0-8.0 MHz) generated BBB disruption. Comparable BBB opening was noted with varied delays between Definity injection and insonification (0-2 min) for a range of Definity concentrations (400-2400 microL/kg). The low-pressure, custom sequences (mechanical index [MI]< or =0.65) had minimal blood cell extravasation as determined by histologic evaluation. This study has shown the ability of a diagnostic ultrasound system, in conjunction with Definity, to open the BBB transcranially in a mouse model for molecules approximately 0.5 kDa in size. Opening was achieved at higher frequencies than previously reported and was localized under ultrasound image guidance. A typical, ultrasound imaging mode (pulsed wave [PW] Doppler) with specific settings (transmit frequency=5.7 MHz, gate size=15 mm, pulse repetition frequency=100 Hz, system power=15%) successfully opened the BBB, which facilitates implementation using the most of commercially available clinical diagnostic scanners. Localized opening of the BBB may have potential clinical utility for the delivery of diagnostic or therapeutic agents to the brain. 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2009.03.012