Ultrasonic technologies in imaging and drug delivery

Yi Ju Ho, Chih Chung Huang, Ching Hsiang Fan, Hao Li Liu, Chih Kuang Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasonic technologies show great promise for diagnostic imaging and drug delivery in theranostic applications. The development of functional and molecular ultrasound imaging is based on the technical breakthrough of high frame–rate ultrasound. The evolution of shear wave elastography, high-frequency ultrasound imaging, ultrasound contrast imaging, and super-resolution blood flow imaging are described in this review. Recently, the therapeutic potential of the interaction of ultrasound with microbubble cavitation or droplet vaporization has become recognized. Microbubbles and phase-change droplets not only provide effective contrast media, but also show great therapeutic potential. Interaction with ultrasound induces unique and distinguishable biophysical features in microbubbles and droplets that promote drug loading and delivery. In particular, this approach demonstrates potential for central nervous system applications. Here, we systemically review the technological developments of theranostic ultrasound including novel ultrasound imaging techniques, the synergetic use of ultrasound with microbubbles and droplets, and microbubble/droplet drug-loading strategies for anticancer applications and disease modulation. These advancements have transformed ultrasound from a purely diagnostic utility into a promising theranostic tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6119-6141
Number of pages23
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number17-18
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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