In Vitro Echogenicity Characterization of Poly[lactide-coglycolide] (PLGA) Microparticles and Preliminary In Vivo Ultrasound Enhancement Study for Ultrasound Contrast Agent Application

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This work includes (1) the characterization of a reproducible poly[lactide-coglycolide] (PLGA) microparticle preparation with an optimial mean diameter and size distribution and (2) the preliminary in vivo ultrasonographic investigation of PLGA microparticles.


A first series of PLGA microparticle preparations (1 to 15 μm) was acoustically characterized on a hydrodynamic device to select the most appropriate for ultrasound contrast agent application. Preparations of 3-μm microparticles were selected, characterized at different doses, and then injected into 20 melanoma grafted mice for contrast-enhanced power Doppler ultrasonography evaluation.


The 3-μm microparticles (3.26-μm mean diameter with 0.41-μm standard deviation) led to in vitro enhancement of 18.3 dB at 0.62 mg/mL. In vivo experiments showed 47% enhancement of intratumoral vascularization detection after PLGA injection, significantly correlated (P < 0.0001) with preinjection intravascularization and tumoral volume. No toxicity was histologically observed.


The 3-μm PLGA microparticles provided significant enhancement in vitro and in vivo without any toxicity.

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