Nanoparticles-based Dual-Modal Ultrasound Contrast Agents

W.H. Chang, C.-A.J. Lin, F-C Kung, J-L Shen, W-H Chan, C-K Yeh, W.-F.T. Lai
Chung Yuan Christian University, TW

Keywords: nanoparticles, microbubble, ultrasound contrast agent, dual-modality


Nanoparticles, such as quantum dots, iron oxide nanoparticles, and gold nanomaterials, have been developed for multi-modal clinical imaging and therapeutic agents except ultrasound (US) imaging. In this study, nanoparticle-embedded microbubbles were designed as dual-modal contrast agents for US imaging. These nano-in-micro imaging probes were prepared via a one-pot sonochemical route to form albumin microbubbles, along with the cavitational encapsulation of polymer-coated nanoparticles in the bubble shell. The polycarboxylate polymer was used successfully for linking inorganic colloidal nanoparticles of different materials (gold nanoparticles, quantum dots, iron oxide nanoparticles) to BSA protein corona. The sonochemical route then promoted disulfide cross-linking of cysteine residues between protein-caged nanomaterials and free albumin during acoustic cavitation. Proof-of-principle in vivo experiments confirmed that these nanoparticle-embedded microbubble composites are suitable contrast agents for both IVIS and US imaging.