Marie de Saint Victor
CDT Postgraduate Studentship in Healthcare Innovation (RCUK Digital Economy Programme grant number EP/G036861/1)
Targeted Drug Delivery for Sonothrombolysis using Ultrasound and Microbubbles
Despite therapeutic advances, ischaemic stroke remains one of the leading causes of disability and mortality worldwide. The only FDA-approved therapy is the thrombolytic agent tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), which has serious side effects and drastic exclusion criteria. There is a clear need for an adjuvant therapy that improves the safety and efficacy of current treatments. Transcranial ultrasound combined with echo-contrast agents (microbubbles) has been shown to enhance thrombolysis in vitro as well as in clinical trials. Additionally, this technique increases patient safety by allowing continuous treatment monitoring through the temporal bone in the skull.
This project investigates novel drug-loaded magnetic microbubbles for sonothrombolysis. The objective is to target these agents at the clot site and to potentiate therapy locally with ultrasound. Such an approach would allow a reduction in administered drug doses and limit systemic side effects. Eventually, thrombolytic treatment may become available for a larger patient population.