Therapeutic ultrasound contrast agents for the enhancement of tumor diagnosis and tumor therapy

Hyungwon Moon, Changhan Yoon, Tae Woong Lee, Kyoung Su Ha, Jin Ho Chang, Tai Kyong Song, Kwangmeyung Kim, Hyuncheol Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The functionality of ultrasound in early cancer detection is limited because of its relatively low contrast resolution. Because it has a high degree of echogenicity, a microbubble contrast agent is often used to overcome this intrinsic limitation of imaging at low-contrast resolution. A targeted and drug-loaded microbubble contrast agent for simultaneous diagnosis and therapy has recently been investigated. However, no optimized theragnosis ultrasoundmicrobubbles have been developed. Paclitaxel (PTX)-encapsulating human serum albumin nanoparticles (PTX-HSA-NPs) were conjugated onto an ultrasound microbubbles (PTX-HSA-NPs-MBs) fabricated in the laboratory to result in a narrow size distribution (1-7± 0-7 μm) and an optimal resonance frequency of 3 MHz. After intravenous injection of HSA-NPs-MBs, echogenicity in the tumor xenografted with breast cancer MCF-7 cells was significantly enhanced, showing the possibility of early cancer diagnosis. Mice injected with PTX-HSA-NPs-MBs showed higher survival rates in comparison with control groups, demonstrating the possibility of theragnosis. In the present study, the conjugation of PTX-HSA-NPs onto the ultrasound microbubbles simultaneously provided (1) enhanced ultrasound signal generation, (2) sufficient drug-loading capacity, (3) ability to deliver drugs to a preferred tumor site, and (4) increased stability in blood circulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1183-1192
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biomedical Nanotechnology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 American Scientific Publishers. All rights reserved.


  • Drug delivery
  • Human serum albumin
  • Microbubble
  • Theragnosis
  • Tumor
  • Ultrasound contrast agent
  • Ultrasound imaging


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