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Biological in situ characterization of polymeric microbubble contrast agents

Wan, Sha, Egri, Gabriella, Oddo, Letizia, Cerroni, Barbara, Dähne, Lars, Paradossi, Gaio, Salvati, Anna, Lynch, Iseult, Dawson, Kenneth A., Monopoli, Marco P.
The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 2016 v.75 pp. 232-243
computed tomography, flow cytometry, image analysis, magnetic resonance imaging, medicine, microbubbles, photons, polymers, proteins, ultrasonography
Polymeric microbubbles (MBs) are gas filled particles composed of a thin stabilized polymer shell that have been recently developed as valid contrast agents for the combined use of ultrasonography (US), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT) imaging. Due to their buoyancy, the commonly available approaches to study their behaviour in complex media are not easily applicable and their use in modern medicine requires such behaviour to be fully elucidated. Here we have used for the first time flow cytometry as a new high throughput approach that allows characterisation of the MB dispersion, prior to and after exposure in different biological media and we have additionally developed a method that allows characterisation of the strongly bound proteins adsorbed on the MBs, to fully predict their biological behaviour in biological milieu.