Investigating the spatial extent of acoustically activated echogenic liposomes

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Abstract

The purpose of this work was to investigate the ability of bubbles entrapped within echogenic liposomes (ELIP) to serve as foci for cavitational events that would cause leakage in neighboring non-echogenic liposomes (NELIP). Previous studies have shown that entrapping bubbles into liposomes increases ultrasound-mediated leakage of hydrophilic components at ultrasound settings known to induce inertial cavitation, specifically 20 kHz and 2.2 W/cm2. Using tone-burst approach and pulse repetition frequency of 10 Hz would bring this intensity level to the one accepted (220 mW/cm2) in clinical imaging. Mixed populations of ELIP and NELIP were simultaneously exposed to ultrasound at varying ratios to examine the effect of ELIP concentration on release of a hydrophilic dye, calcein, from NELIP. Calcein release from NELIP was observed to be independent of ELIP concentration, suggesting that the release enhancement from echogenicity is strictly a localized event. Additionally, it was observed that the release mechanisms independent of echogenicity were active for the duration of experiment whereas those associated with echogenicity were active for only the initial 1–2 min.

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