AUTHORS: Lorton O, Guillemin P, Holman R, Desgranges S, Gui L, Crowe LA, Terraz S, Nastasi A, Lazeyras F, Contino-Pépin C, Salomir R

International Journal of Hyperthermia, 37(1): 116-1130, September 2020



High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is clinically accepted for the treatment of solid tumors but remains challenging in highly perfused tissue due to the heat sink effect. Endovascular liquid-core sonosensitizers have been previously suggested to enhance the thermal energy deposition at the focal area and to lower the near-/far-field heating. We are investigating the therapeutic potential of PFOB-FTAC micro-droplets in a perfused tissue-mimicking model and postmortem excised organs.


A custom-made in vitro perfused tissue-mimicking model, freshly excised pig kidneys (n = 3) and liver (n = 1) were perfused and subjected to focused ultrasound generated by an MR-compatible HIFU transducer. PFOB-FTAC sonosensitizers were injected in the perfusion fluid up to 0.235% v/v ratio. Targeting and on-line PRFS thermometry were performed on a 3 T MR scanner. Assessment of the fluid perfusion was performed with pulsed color Doppler in vitro and with dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI in excised organs.


Our in vitro model of perfused tissue demonstrated re-usability. Sonosensitizer concentration and perfusion rate were tunable in situ. Differential heating under equivalent HIFU sonications demonstrated a dramatic improvement in the thermal deposition due to the sonosensitizers activity. Typically, the energy deposition was multiplied by a factor between 2.5 and 3 in perfused organs after the administration of micro-droplets, while DCE-MRI indicated an effective perfusion.


The current PFOB-FTAC micro-droplet sonosensitizers provided a large and sustained enhancement of the HIFU thermal deposition at the focal area, suggesting solutions for less technological constraints, lower risk for the near-/far- field heating. We also report a suitable experimental model for other MRgHIFU studies.

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