Focused ultrasound blood brain barrier opening mediated delivery of MRI-visible albumin nanoclusters to the rat brain for localized drug delivery with temporal control

Academic Article


  • There is an ongoing need for noninvasive tools to manipulate brain activity with molecular, spatial and temporal specificity. Here we have investigated the use of MRI-visible, albumin-based nanoclusters for noninvasive, localized and temporally specific drug delivery to the rat brain. We demonstrated that IV injected nanoclusters could be deposited into target brain regions via focused ultrasound facilitated blood brain barrier opening. We showed that nanocluster location could be confirmed in vivo with MRI. Additionally, following confirmation of nanocluster delivery, release of the nanocluster payload into brain tissue can be triggered by a second focused ultrasound treatment performed without circulating microbubbles. Release of glutamate from nanoclusters in vivo caused enhanced c-Fos expression, indicating that the loading capacity of the nanoclusters is sufficient to induce neuronal activation. This novel technique for noninvasive stereotactic drug delivery to the brain with temporal specificity could provide a new way to study brain circuits in vivo preclinically with high relevance for clinical translation.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rich MC; Sherwood J; Bartley AF; Whitsitt QA; Lee M; Willoughby WR; Dobrunz LE; Bao Y; Lubin FD; Bolding M
  • Start Page

  • 172
  • End Page

  • 180
  • Volume

  • 324