Focused ultrasound-enhanced intranasal brain delivery of brain-derived neurotrophic factor

Hong Chen, Georgiana Zong Xin Yang, Hoheteberhan Getachew, Camilo Acosta, Carlos Sierra Sánchez, Elisa E. Konofagou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to unveil the potential mechanism of focused ultrasound (FUS)-enhanced intranasal (IN) brain drug delivery and assess its feasibility in the delivery of therapeutic molecules. Delivery outcomes of fluorescently-labeled dextrans to mouse brains by IN administration either before or after FUS sonication were compared to evaluate whether FUS enhances IN delivery by active pumping or passive diffusion. Fluorescence imaging of brain slices found that IN administration followed by FUS sonication achieved significantly higher delivery than IN administration only, while pre-Treatment by FUS sonication followed by IN administration was not significantly different from IN administration only. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a promising neurotrophic factor for the treatment of many central nervous system diseases, was delivered by IN followed by FUS to demonstrate the feasibility of this technique and compared with the established FUS technique where drugs are injected intravenously. Immunohistochemistry staining of BDNF revealed that FUS-enhanced IN delivery achieved similar locally enhanced delivery as the established FUS technique. This study suggested that FUS enhances IN brain drug delivery by FUS-induced active pumping of the drug and demonstrated that FUS-enhanced IN delivery is a promising technique for noninvasive and localized delivery of therapeutic molecules to the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28599
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Jun 27 2016


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