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May 25, 2018 –


Perfluorooctylbromide nanoparticles (PFOB NPs) are a type of multifunctional nanotechnology that has been studied for various medical applications. Commercial ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) suffer from the following limitations: short half-lives in vivo, high background signal and restricted distribution in the vascular circulation due to their micrometer dimensions. PFOB NPs are new potential UCAs that persist for long periods in the circulatory system, possess a relatively stable echogenic response without increasing the background signal and exhibit lower acoustic attenuation than commercial UCAs. Furthermore, PFOB NPs may also serve as drug delivery vehicles in which drugs are dissolved in the outer lipid or polymer layer for subsequent delivery to target sites in site-targeted therapy. The use of PFOB NPs as carriers has the potential advantage of selectively delivering payloads to the target site while improving visualization of the site using ultrasound (US) imaging. Unfortunately, the application of PFOB NPs to the field of ultrasonography has been limited because of the low intensity of US reflection. Numerous researchers have realized the potential use of PFOB NPs as UCAs and thus have developed alternative approaches to apply PFOB NPs in ultrasonography. In this article, we review the latest approaches for using PFOB NPs to enhance US imaging in vivo. In addition, this article emphasizes the application of PFOB NPs as promising drug delivery carriers for cancer and atherosclerosis treatments, as PFOB NPs can transport different drug payloads for various applications with good efficacy. We also note the challenges and future study directions for the application of PFOB NPs as both a delivery system for therapeutic agents and a diagnostic agent for ultrasonography.

Authors: Xiao Li, Zhongguo Sui, Xin Li, Wen Xu, Qie Guo, Jialin Sun, Fanbo Jing

Department of Clinical Pharmacy, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, Shandong, People’s Republic of China

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