An on-demand long-lived ultrasound contrast agent that can be activated with single pulse stimulated imaging (SPSI) has been developed using hard shell liquid perfluoropentane filled silica 500-nm nanoparticles for tumor ultrasound imaging. SPSI was tested on LnCAP prostate tumor models in mice; tumor localization was observed after intravenous (IV) injection of the contrast agent. Consistent with enhanced permeability and retention, the silica nanoparticles displayed an extended imaging lifetime of 3.3±1 days (mean±standard deviation). With added tumor specific folate functionalization, the useful lifetime was extended to 12 ± 2 days; in contrast to ligand-based tumor targeting, the effect of the ligands in this application is enhanced nanoparticle retention by the tumor. This paper demonstrates for the first time that IV injected functionalized silica contrast agents can be imaged with an in vivo lifetime 500 times longer than current microbubble-based contrast agents. Such functionalized long-lived contrast agents may lead to new applications in tumor monitoring and therapy.
- Contrast agents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Computer Science Applications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering