Theranostics 2016; 6(11):1963-1974. doi:10.7150/thno.15922

Research Paper

Motion Compensated Ultrasound Imaging Allows Thermometry and Image Guided Drug Delivery Monitoring from Echogenic Liposomes

Kalyani Ektate1*, Ankur Kapoor2*, Danny Maples1, Ahmet Tuysuzoglu2, Joshua VanOsdol1, Selvarani Ramasami1, Ashish Ranjan1✉

1. Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma.
2. Medical Imaging Technologies, Siemens Healthcare, Princeton, New Jersey.
* Both authors contributed equally to this study.


Ultrasound imaging is widely used both for cancer diagnosis and to assess therapeutic success, but due to its weak tissue contrast and the short half-life of commercially available contrast agents, it is currently not practical for assessing motion compensated contrast-enhanced tumor imaging, or for determining time-resolved absolute tumor temperature while simultaneously reporting on drug delivery. The objectives of this study were to: 1) develop echogenic heat sensitive liposomes (E-LTSL) and non-thermosensitive liposomes (E-NTSL) to enhance half-life of contrast agents, and 2) measure motion compensated temperature induced state changes in acoustic impedance and Laplace pressure of liposomes to monitor temperature and doxorubicin (Dox) delivery to tumors. LTSL and NTSL containing Dox were co-loaded with an US contrast agent (perfluoropentane, PFP) using a one-step sonoporation method to create E-LTSL and E-NTSL. To determine temperature induced intensity variation with respect to the state change of E-LTSL and E-NTSL in mouse colon tumors, cine acquisition of 20 frames/second for about 20 min (or until wash out) at temperatures of 42°C, 39.5°C, and 37°C was performed. A rigid rotation and translation was applied to each of the “key frames” to adjust for any gross motion that arose due to motion of the animal or the transducer. To evaluate the correlation between ultrasound (US) intensity variation and Dox release at various temperatures, treatment (5 mg Dox/kg) was administered via a tail vein once tumors reached a size of 300-400 mm3, and mean intensity within regions of interest (ROIs) defined for each sample was computed over the collected frames and normalized in the range of [0,1]. When the motion compensation technique was applied, a > 2-fold drop in standard deviation in mean image intensity of tumor was observed, enabling a more robust estimation of temporal variations in tumor temperatures for 15-20 min. due to state change of E-LTSL and E-NTSL. Consequently, a marked increase in peak intensity at 42°C compared to 37°C that corresponded with enhanced Dox delivery from E-LTSL in tumors was obtained. Our results suggest that echogenic liposomes provide a predictable change in tumor vascular contrast with temperature, and this property could be applicable to nanomonitoring of drug delivery in real time.

Keywords: Ultrasound Imaging

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How to cite this article:
Ektate K, Kapoor A, Maples D, Tuysuzoglu A, VanOsdol J, Ramasami S, Ranjan A. Motion Compensated Ultrasound Imaging Allows Thermometry and Image Guided Drug Delivery Monitoring from Echogenic Liposomes. Theranostics 2016; 6(11):1963-1974. doi:10.7150/thno.15922. Available from