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Microbubbles & Nanobubbles for Therapeutic Drug Delivery
Prof Steven Evans (Leeds University, UK)

In the presence of a gas bubble in solution lipids spontaneously assemble at the air/gas boundary presenting a lipid monolayer with the zwitterionic head groups oriented to the aqueous phase. The lipids both stabilize the gas from dissolution and present a biocompatible interface to reduce identification by the immune system. The natural echogenicity of such bubbles combined with their biocompatibility makes them ideal theranostic agents for ultrasound aided drug delivery. Here we describe our recent approaches for the bubble formation, characterisation and the treatment of cancer. In particular the development of microfluidics for the optimised production of drug loaded micro- and nanobubbles.[1,2] I will describe the formation and subsequent invitro and in vivo optimisation of lifetime and ultrasound properties, including their sub-harmonic response as well as describe some of our novel microbubble architectures.[3-8] Finally, I will show that our microbubbles plus ultrasound display enhanced therapeutic benefit for the treatment of colorectal cancer.