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Tinkov, Steliyan (2009): Development of Ultrasound Contrast Agents for Targeted Drug and Gene Delivery. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy
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Abstract

Today, ultrasound (US) applications in medicine are so extensive that one cannot imagine routine clinical practice without them. US applications provide non-invasive, cost-efficient and well-developed modalities for imaging and diagnostics. In addition, several therapeutic approaches involving US have gained public acceptance and compliance. For example, highintensity focused US (HIFU) is used to ablate solid tumors and tissue regions, and lithotripter shockwaves are used to destroy kidney stones. The introducing of the first microbubble US contrast agents (MBs) has brought a great improvement in US diagnostics. Until the 1990’s, they were mainly used for right heart opacification and cardiac shunt diagnostics. This approach was limited due to MBs’ low stability and large size, making them unable to pass pulmonary capillaries after intravenous injection. Developing stable and sufficiently small gas filled MBs allowed systemic circulation of an effective US contrast agent after intravenous injection, thus opening a wide range of new diagnostic applications. More recently, such MBs have evolved into a promising carrier for therapeutic substances. This work will focus on the aspects of pharmaceutical developing of MB carriers for site specific tumor and gene therapy.