Phospholipid-coated microbubbles are ultrasound contrast agents that, when functionalized, adhere to specific biomarkers on cells. In this concise review, we highlight recent developments in strategies for targeting the microbubbles and their use for ultrasound molecular imaging (UMI) and therapy. Recently developed novel targeting strategies include magnetic functionalization, triple targeting, and the use of several new ligands. UMI is a powerful technique for studying disease progression, diagnostic imaging, and monitoring of therapeutic responses. Targeted microbubbles (tMBs) have been used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, with therapeutics either coadministered or loaded onto the tMBs. Regardless of which disease was treated, the use of tMBs always resulted in a better therapeutic outcome than non-tMBs when compared in vitro or in vivo.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Phospholipid Research Center [KKO-2017-057/1-1], Heidelberg, Germany; the Thoraxcenter of Erasmus MC; and Applied and Engineering Sciences TTW [Vidi-project 17543], part of NWO .
© 2021 The Authors