Microbubbles (MBs) serve as a critical catalyst to amplify local cavitation in CNS capillary lumen to facilitate focused ultrasound (FUS) to transiently open the blood-brain barrier (BBB). However, limited understanding is available regarding the effect of different microbubbles to induce BBB opening. The aim of this study is to characterize different MBs on their effect in FUS-induced BBB opening. Three MBs, SonoVue, Definity, and USphere, were tested, with 0.4-MHz FUS exposure at 0.62-1.38 of mechanical index (MI) on rats. Evans blue, dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI and small-animal ultrasound imaging were used as surrogates to allow molecule-penetrated quantification, BBBopened observation, and MBs circulation/persistence. Cavitation activity was measured via the passive cavitation detection (PCD) setup to correlate with the exposure level and the histological effect. Under given and identical MB concentrations, the three MBs induced similar and equivalent BBB-opening effects and persistence. In addition, a treatment paradigm by adapting exposure time is proposed to compensate MB decay to retain the persistence of BBB-opening efficiency in multiple FUS exposures. The results potentially improve understanding of the equivalence among MBs in focused ultrasound CNS drug delivery, and provide an effective strategy for securing persistence in this treatment modality.
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