Theranostics 2012; 2(12):1185-1198. doi:10.7150/thno.4846

Review

Phase-Change Nanoparticles Using Highly Volatile Perfluorocarbons: Toward a Platform for Extravascular Ultrasound Imaging

Terry O. Matsunaga1* ✉, Paul S. Sheeran2*, Samantha Luois3, Jason E. Streeter2, Lee B. Mullin2, Bhaskar Banerjee4, Paul A. Dayton2

1. Department of Medical Imaging, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA;
2. Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA;
3. Undergraduate Biology Research Program, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA;
4. Department of Gastroenterology, Optical Sciences, and Biomedical Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA.
* Authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

Recent efforts using perfluorocarbon (PFC) nanoparticles in conjunction with acoustic droplet vaporization has introduced the possibility of expanding the diagnostic and therapeutic capability of ultrasound contrast agents to beyond the vascular space. Our laboratories have developed phase-change nanoparticles (PCNs) from the highly volatile PFCs decafluorobutane (DFB, bp =-2 °C) and octafluoropropane (OFP, bp =-37 °C ) for acoustic droplet vaporization. Studies with commonly used clinical ultrasound scanners have demonstrated the ability to vaporize PCN emulsions with frequencies and mechanical indices that may significantly decrease tissue bioeffects. In addition, these contrast agents can be formulated to be stable at physiological temperatures and the perfluorocarbons can be mixed to modulate the balance between sensitivity to ultrasound and general stability. We herein discuss our recent efforts to develop finely-tuned diagnostic/molecular imaging agents for tissue interrogation. We discuss studies currently under investigation as well as potential diagnostic and therapeutic paradigms that may emerge as a result of formulating PCNs with low boiling point PFCs.

Keywords: Phase-change nanoparticles, extravascular imaging, ultrasound, perfluorocarbon, Acoustic droplet vaporization, diagnostic, therapeutic.

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How to cite this article:
Matsunaga TO, Sheeran PS, Luois S, Streeter JE, Mullin LB, Banerjee B, Dayton PA. Phase-Change Nanoparticles Using Highly Volatile Perfluorocarbons: Toward a Platform for Extravascular Ultrasound Imaging. Theranostics 2012; 2(12):1185-1198. doi:10.7150/thno.4846. Available from http://www.thno.org/v02p1185.htm