85 Scopus citations


Ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD) is a promising technique for non-invasive, targeted drug delivery, and its applications in chemotherapeutic drug delivery to solid tumors have attracted growing interest. Ultrasound, which has been conventionally used for diagnostic imaging, has evolved as a promising tool for therapeutic applications mainly because of its ability to be focused deep inside the human body, providing a modality for targeted delivery. Although originally being introduced into clinics as ultrasound contrast agents, microbubbles (MBs) have been developed as a diagnostic and therapeutic agent that can both be tracked through non-invasive imaging and deliver therapeutic agents selectively at ultrasound-targeted locations. Whereas free drugs often possess harmful side effects, their encapsulation in MBs and subsequent local release at the targeted tissue by ultrasound triggering may help improve the margin of safety. In the past 10 years, the feasibility and safety of UTMD have been extensively tested using normal animal models. Most recently, a growing number of preclinical studies have been reported on the therapeutic benefits of UTMD in the delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs to various malignant tumors, such as brain, liver, eyelid, pancreas, and breast tumors. Increased drug concentration in tumors and reduced tumor sizes were achieved in those tumors treated with UTMD in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs, when compared to tumors treated with chemotherapy drugs alone. This review presents an overview of current preclinical applications of UTMD in chemotherapeutic drug delivery for the treatment of cancers along with a discussion of its future developments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalJournal of Therapeutic Ultrasound
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • Cancer
  • Microbubbles
  • Targeted drug delivery
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound contrast agent
  • Ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction


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