Ultrasound Imaging of Microbubble Activity during Sonoporation Pulse Sequences
Averkiou, Michalakis A.
SourceUltrasound in Medicine & Biology
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Ultrasound-mediated drug delivery using the mechanical action of oscillating and/or collapsing microbubbles has been studied on many different experimental platforms, both in vitro and in vivohowever, the mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Many groups use sterile, enclosed chambers, such as Opticells and Clinicells, to optimize acoustic parameters in vitro needed for effective drug delivery in vivo, as well as for mechanistic investigation of sonoporation or the use of sound to permeate cell membranes. In these containers, cell monolayers are seeded on one side, and the remainder of the volume is filled with a solution containing microbubbles and a model drug. Ultrasound is then applied to study the effect of different parameters on model drug uptake in cell monolayers. Despite the simplicity of this system, the field has been unable to appropriately address what parameters and microbubble concentrations are most effective at enhancing drug uptake and minimizing cellular toxicity. In this work, a common in vitro sonoporation experimental setup was characterized through quantitative analysis of microbubble-dependent acoustic attenuation in combination with high-frame-rate and high-resolution imaging of bubble activity during sonoporation pulse sequences. The goal was to visualize the effect that ultrasound parameters have on microbubble activity. It was observed that under literature-derived sonoporation conditions (0.1–1 MPa, 20–1000 cycles and 10,000 to 10,000,000 microbubbles/mL), there is strong and non-linear acoustic attenuation, as well as bubble destruction, gas diffusion and bubble motion resulting in spatiotemporal pressure and concentration gradients. Ultimately, it was found that the acoustic conditions in common in vitro sonoporation setups are much more complex and confounding than often assumed.