“The next generation of ultrasound contrast agents” Tide Micro
A next generation use for ultrasound contrast agent is as a delivery method for medicines, commonly referred to as target drug delivery. The concept of targeted drug delivery in conjunction with ultrasound is where the medicine is applied to the microbubbles outer shell and using the ultrasound monitor the patient until the contrast agent reaches the site being targeted, i.e. the tumorous growth or lesion.
Once the contrast agent is at the site, then the ultrasound field is used to burst the microbubbles, thereby releasing the drug where it is most needed and can work most effectively. Advantages of this technique included:
- Continuous visualisation of the target area as the medicine is delivered
- Reduction in the dose required, as drugs are only released at the affected site
- Reduction in side-effects, as drugs are not circulating and effecting other areas of the body, but are focussed on the site where they are needed
Ultimately this leads to a next generation in medicine where treatments are personalised and the patient is treated as an individual, not the disease.