Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Microbubbles and ultrasound help penetrate blood-brain barrier

Date:
March 13, 2012
Source:
The Journal of Visualized Experiments
Summary:
One of the trickiest parts of treating brain conditions is the blood-brain barrier, a blockade of cells that prevent both harmful toxins and helpful pharmaceuticals from getting to the body's control center. But, a new technique uses an MRI machine to guide the use of microbubbles and focused ultrasound to help drugs enter the brain, which may open new treatment avenues for devastating conditions like Alzheimer's and brain cancers.

One of the trickiest parts of treating brain conditions is the blood brain barrier, a blockade of cells that prevent both harmful toxins and helpful pharmaceuticals from getting to the body's control center. But, a technique published in JoVE, uses an MRI machine to guide the use of microbubbles and focused ultrasound to help drugs enter the brain, which may open new treatment avenues for devastating conditions like Alzheimer's and brain cancers.

Related Articles


"It's getting close to the point where this could be done safely in humans," said paper-author Meaghan O'Reilly, "there is a push towards applications."

The current method of disrupting the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is by using osmotic agents such as mannitol, which suck the water out of the cells that form the barrier, causing the gaps between them to get bigger. Unfortunately, this method opens large areas of the barrier, leaving the brain exposed to toxins.

The benefit of the microbubble technique is that it can be used on a very small area of the BBB. The microbubbles, made of lipids (fats) and gas, are injected into the blood stream. When focused ultrasound is applied, the bubbles expand and contract. It is thought that the force of the movement in the bubbles causes the cells that form the BBB to temporarily separate, which allows drugs to reach the brain.

"Microbubble technology has been around for years, though its applications have mostly been as contrast agents for diagnostic ultrasound," said JoVE Editorial Director, Dr. Beth Hovey. "This newer approach, using ultrasound to help the bubbles permeablize the blood brain barrier, will hopefully allow for better treatment of diseases within the brain."

In this method, O'Reilly and her colleagues use the MRI machine to ensure that the barrier opens, and they can also time how long it takes for it to close, which will be important for when the technique is used on patients.

"The ability of focused ultrasound combined with microbubbles to disrupt the blood brain barrier has been known for over a decade. However, because the actual technique can be challenging -- there are critical steps involved -- the video article fills a gap in the literature that is a major hindrance to people getting into the field," she said.

The article will be published on March 13 and can be viewed here at 1pm EST: http://www.jove.com/video/3555/mri-guided-disruption-of-the-blood-brain-barrier-using-transcranial-focused-ultrasound-in-a-rat-model


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Journal of Visualized Experiments. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Journal of Visualized Experiments. "Microbubbles and ultrasound help penetrate blood-brain barrier." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313121725.htm>.
The Journal of Visualized Experiments. (2012, March 13). Microbubbles and ultrasound help penetrate blood-brain barrier. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313121725.htm
The Journal of Visualized Experiments. "Microbubbles and ultrasound help penetrate blood-brain barrier." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313121725.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins