Pellow C, O’Reilly MA, Hynynen K, Zheng G & Goertz DE
Nano Letters, 2020

Ultrasound-activated nanobubbles are being widely investigated as contrast agents and therapeutic vehicles. Nanobubbles hold potential for accessing the tumor extravascular compartment, though this relies on clinically debated passive accumulation for which evidence to date is indirect. We recently reported ultrasound-triggered conversion of high payload porphyrin-encapsulated microbubbles to nanobubbles, with actively enhanced permeability for local delivery. This platform holds implications for optical/ultrasound-based imaging and therapeutics. While promising, it remains to be established how nanobubbles are generated and whether they extravasate intact. Here, insights into the conversion process are reported, complemented by novel simultaneous intravital and acoustic monitoring in tumor-affected functional circulation. The first direct acoustic evidence of extravascular intact nanobubbles are presented. These insights collectively advance this delivery platform and multimodal micro- and nanobubbles, extending their utility for imaging and therapeutics within and beyond the vasculature.