Ultrasound and microbubble-targeted delivery of therapeutic compounds. ICIN Report Project 49: Drug and gene delivery through ultrasound and microbubbles
The molecular understanding of diseases has been accelerated in recent years, producing many new potential therapeutic targets. A noninvasive delivery system that can target specific anatomical sites would be a great boost for many therapies, particularly those based on manipulation of gene expression. The use of microbubbles controlled by ultrasound as a method for delivery of drugs or genes to specific tissues is promising. It has been shown by our group and others that ultrasound increases cell membrane permeability and enhances uptake of drugs and genes. One of the important mechanisms is that microbubbles act to focus ultrasound energy by lowering the threshold for ultrasound bioeffects. Therefore, clear understanding of the bioeffects and mechanisms underlying the membrane permeability in the presence of microbubbles and ultrasound is of paramount importance.