Contrast Agents - News Stories

Microbubbles make breast cancer more susceptible to radiation therapy

Publish Date: 02/03/2018

Injecting breast cancer with oxygen-filled microbubbles makes tumors three-times more sensitive to radiation therapy and improves survival in animal models of the disease.

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound a promising tool for pediatric imaging

Publish Date: 01/27/2018

A new type of bubble is in town, and this one is changing the practice of modern pediatric imaging. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) employs gas microbubbles that are smaller than a red blood cell to enhance standard sonographic images without the risks of radiation exposure...

Researchers develop ultrasound triggered mechanogenetics system to target and kill cancer cells

Publish Date: 01/20/2018

A team of researchers has developed an ultrasound-based system that can non-invasively and remotely control genetic processes in live immune T cells so that they recognize and kill cancer cells.

These disease-fighting bacteria produce echoes detectable by ultrasound

Publish Date: 01/06/2018

Ultrasound can now track bacteria in the body like sonar detects submarines. The technique could help scientists verify if bacterial treatments for some cancers, gut illnesses are working.

Researchers discover way to enhance effectiveness and safety of sonogenetics

Publish Date: 01/06/2018

Researchers at Duke University have discovered a way to enhance the effectiveness and safety of sonogenetics or ultrasonic modulation, emerging techniques that use sound waves to control the behavior of individual neurons or to promote tissue growth and wound healing in other cells.

CEUS works well for central-line check, less so for ruling out misplacement

Publish Date: 12/09/2017

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) imaging is safe, efficient and highly specific for confirming location and placement of central venous catheter tips in adult patients, according to a medical literature meta-analysis running in the December edition of the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine.

FDA Approves Lumason for evaluation of Vesicoureteral Reflux

Publish Date: 10/07/2017

The Food and Drug Administration approved Bracco Diagnostics Inc.'s LUMASON (sulfur hexafluoride lipid-type A microspheres) for use with ultrasonography for the evaluation of suspected or known vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) in the pediatric patient.

FDA Holds MIDAC Meeting on Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents

Publish Date: 09/11/2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would hold a meeting of the Medical Imaging Drugs Advisory Committee (MIDAC) on Sept. 8 to discuss regulatory approaches for use of gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs). FDA’s approach to date has been educational only.

Soon, Broken Bones Could be Fixed Using Gene Therapy and Microbubbles

Publish Date: 09/10/2017

Researchers healed bone fractures by attracting stem cells to the area and injecting a mix of microbubbles and DNA encoding a bone protein at the break. Ultrasound was then used to release the DNA at the fracture site. This method could replace bone grafting for nonhealing fractures.

Ultrasound and Microbubbles for Targeted Chemotherapy Delivery

Publish Date: 09/02/2017

Researchers in Norway have developed a chemotherapy delivery system consisting of microbubbles containing drug-loaded nanoparticles. When the researchers apply ultrasound to the microbubbles in a tumor, the microbubbles burst, releasing the nanoparticles and the chemotherapeutic drug.

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound in the therapeutic assessment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Publish Date: 08/20/2017

In this case report the authors found that contrast enhanced ultrasound exhibited the potential to present complementary results to contrast enhanced CT, in the therapeutic assessment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

ACR updates contrast-media guide

Publish Date: 07/16/2017

Spotlighting an entirely new chapter on contrast-enhanced ultrasound, the American College of Radiology on July 12 announced the latest version of its Manual on Contrast Media. The publication is available online in full for free.

Microbubbles, Magnets and Ultrasound for treatment of cancer

Publish Date: 07/01/2017

An Oxford scientist has developed a method for delivering chemotherapy directly to a target tumor by using magnets to collect the bubbles in the target area and ultrasound to burst the bubbles releasing the chemotherapeutic agent.

Brain-penetrating nanoparticles delivered by MR image-guided focused ultrasound restore neuron function

Publish Date: 05/27/2017

Researchers at the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore have developed a new, non-invasive and non-toxic genetic therapeutic technique to restore dopaminergic neuron function in rats suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Ultrasound Molecular Imaging: A Good Start

Publish Date: 05/21/2017

This editorial on the recently published article "Ultrasound Molecular Imaging With BR55 in Patients With Breast and Ovarian Lesions: First-in-Human Results" provides context for this new ultrasound-based approach and assesses it against currently available imaging technology.

Bubbles, Ultrasound and BMP-6 for bone repair

Publish Date: 05/21/2017

This study demonstrated that localized ultrasound-mediated, microbubble-enhanced therapeutic gene delivery to endogenous stem cells can induce efficient bone regeneration and fracture repair in the pig. The novel two-stage process used may provide a framework for future research in other areas.

Ultrasound and microbubbles flag malignant cancer in humans

Publish Date: 04/08/2017

A Stanford-led team of researchers has developed tiny bubbles that bind to malignant tumors, making them visible to ultrasound imaging.

Layered Microparticles Carry Cancer Drug, Can be Imaged and Activated Using Ultrasound

Publish Date: 04/08/2017

At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, scientists have developed a new microparticle that carries doxorubicin chemo load, that can be imaged within the body and then made to release the cargo using external ultrasound.

Tiny bubbles of gene therapy may help treat hemophilia

Publish Date: 03/18/2017

Researchers at the Center for Cardiovascular Research at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) hope that patients with hemophilia could one day be treated with gene therapy delivered by tiny bubbles.

Contrast-enhanced Ultrasound in Children

Publish Date: 02/04/2017

Pediatric contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a safe procedure and allows for less ionizing radiation and gadolinium contrast administration, according to a study in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Lantheus Medical Imaging Announces FDA Approval of DEFINITY Label Update

Publish Date: 02/04/2017

The FDA has approved a label update for DEFINITY which removes the contraindication statement related to use in patients with a known or suspected cardiac shunt. A cardiac shunt is a pattern of blood flow in the heart that deviates from the normal path of the circulatory system.

Contraindication Lifted for Ultrasound Contrast Agent

Publish Date: 01/14/2017

The FDA informed New Jersey–based Bracco Diagnostics that it has removed the contraindication for Lumason, an ultrasound contrast agent for use in patients with cardiac shunts.

FDA approves ultrasound contrast agent for pediatric vesicoureteral reflux exam

Publish Date: 01/14/2017

Bracco’s LUMASON is the first ultrasound contrast agent to be approved for use in ultrasonography of the urinary tract (voiding ultrasonography) for the evaluation of suspected or known vesicoureteral reflux in pediatric patients.

FDA approves label changes for GE’s Optison

Publish Date: 10/08/2016

GE Healthcare (NYSE:GE) announced today that the FDA approved label changes for its ultrasound contrast agent Optison, removing contraindications for use in patients with cardiac shunts and for administration by intra-arterial injection.

CEUS Liver and Kidney Tests Produce Big Savings in Testing Time and Cost

Publish Date: 09/10/2016

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) can speed up the diagnosis of patients with liver and kidney diseases, reduce the need for more expensive downstream MR and CT imaging, and reduce overall imaging costs, according to a new study described today at the Advances in Ultrasound Contrast conference.

Taking ultrasound to the molecular level - with gas vesicles

Publish Date: 09/04/2016

The modified gas vesicles (similar to microbubble contrast agents) were shown to give off more distinct ultrasound signals, making them easier to image and they can target specific cell types. In the future, they could be administered to a patient to visualize specific tissues of interest.

Gene therapy via ultrasound could offer new therapeutic tool

Publish Date: 08/27/2016

Combining ultrasound energy and microbubbles to poke holes in cells may prove to be a new tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Contrast enhanced ultrasound superior to CT for characterizing dynamic features of hepatocellular adenoma

Publish Date: 07/03/2016

Compared with dynamic CT, CEUS was superior at characterizing specific dynamic features. Considering that it is radiation-free, readily availability and easy to use, CEUS is suggested as the first line imaging tool to diagnose HCA.

A Milestone: Approval of CEUS for Diagnostic Liver Imaging in Adults and Children in the USA.

Publish Date: 06/15/2016

This editorial published in the European Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine (Ultraschall in der Medizin) provides a review of the history behind the FDA approval of Lumason for liver imaging and speculates on the role the USA will play in future development of clinical applications of CEUS.

Researchers Seek to Image Gut Bacteria with Sound Waves

Publish Date: 06/11/2016

Certain photosynthetic single-celled organisms develop proteins that form gas-filled structures. The researchers plan to genetically engineer gut bacteria to produce these proteins, essentially causing the bacteria to produce ultrasound contrast agents within the cell.

Directing Chemotherapy Microbubbles To Tumors Using Magnets

Publish Date: 04/23/2016

Scientists have created microbubbles coated with cancer drug particles and iron oxide nanoparticles, and then used magnets to direct these bubbles to gather around a specific tumour.

Physician Group Applauds FDA Approval of New Liver Imaging Agent in the US

Publish Date: 04/10/2016

The International Contrast Ultrasound Society (ICUS), an international physician group commended the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on its historic decision to allow the use of Lumason®, an ultrasound contrast agent, for diagnostic imaging of the liver in adults and children.


Publish Date: 04/09/2016

Bracco Diagnostics Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Bracco Imaging S.p.A., announced today that LUMASON is now approved for use in ultrasonography of the liver for characterization of focal liver lesions in adult and pediatric patients.

Ultrasound-activated microbubbles restore blood flow to heart muscle during heart attack

Publish Date: 02/14/2016

NIBIB-funded researchers used ultrasound-activated microbubbles to improve preservation of heart muscle and function in a pig heart attack model. Based on this success, the method is now in phase I human clinical trials.

Tiny drug-laden 'popping bubbles' lead triple attack treatment for liver cancer

Publish Date: 12/13/2015

A 'triple attack' technique combining chemotherapy, thermal ablation, and hyperthermia provided a highly targeted, yet minimally invasive approach.

Ultrasound captures rat brain in microscopic 3D

Publish Date: 11/28/2015

Scientists in France have developed an ultrasound technique based on microbubble contrast that can rapidly build up a 3D view of a network of blood vessels, in microscopic detail.

Ultrasound-mediated oncolytic virus delivery and uptake review

Publish Date: 11/28/2015

Oncolytic viruses can selectively replicate within and destroy a cancer cell, thus making them a powerful therapeutic in treating late-stage or metastatic cancer. This article reviews current state of the art in delivery via microbubbles and ultrasound.

Pilot Study Shows Positive Results for Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Publish Date: 09/19/2015

Ultrasound microbubbles can improve tumor absorption of cancer drugs

CEUS Shows Effectiveness of Cancer Therapy in Children

Publish Date: 09/19/2015

A new study shows that contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) imaging can help predict whether children with cancer will respond favorably to certain cancer drugs that target and destroy tumor blood vessels, according to physicians at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

Non-Invasive Breast and Ovarian Cancer Screening Study Released

Publish Date: 09/13/2015

The study found that ultrasound contrast allows visualization of KDR (kinase insert domain receptor), a protein associated with certain diseases including cancer.

NIH Awards $1.26M for development of acoustic angiography for cancer research

Publish Date: 08/22/2015

The research project is centered on a novel approach to cancer detection and diagnosis that is based on using acoustic angiography to measure small changes in the microvessels that feed tumors. Acoustic angiography is a contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging technique.

Copper oxide nanoparticles as contrast agents for MRI and ultrasound dual-modality imaging

Publish Date: 07/12/2015

In this study 7 nm copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) were tested in vitro and in phantoms as a contrast agent for both MRI and through-transmission ultrasound. The particles resulted in a substantial increase in the contrast-to-noise ratio for both modalities.

On-Demand Delivery of Drugs from Nanoparticles Using Ultrasound

Publish Date: 06/21/2015

The technique involves "a hydrogel made of seaweed-derived alginate that contains gold nanoparticles for the delivery of BMP-2, a clinically used drug known to enhance fracture healing when introduced in a controlled manner".

Bubble delivery can rescue failing drug candidates, says Oxford team

Publish Date: 06/06/2015

"The bubble consists of a shell of phospholipids surrounding a gas core made of fluorocarbons..."

Imaging Technique Identifies Early Metastasis in Lymph Nodes

Publish Date: 05/30/2015

The technique uses an imaging approach known as ultrasound-guided photoacoustics combined with nanosensors (gold nanoparticles and an antibody to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Early results in mice showed high sensitivity for small metastases in lymph nodes.

Ultrasound-activated bubbles could help make cancer drugs more effective and less nasty

Publish Date: 05/23/2015

" of the most versatile means of triggering drug release is by firing a beam of ultrasonic vibrations at the particles. Widely used as an imaging method, ultrasound can be used from outside the body and, unlike light or heat, can be tightly focused to produce highly localised effects."

Measuring reduction in tumor growth with Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS)

Publish Date: 05/08/2015

CEUS using the “flash replenishment”(FR) method appears to provide a useful assessment of the anti-angiogenic and invasion-inhibiting effects of a triple combination therapy.

Ultrasound with contrast for pediatrics with abdominal trauma superior to CT

Publish Date: 05/08/2015

Results from a recent British study indicate that children who suffer from blunt abdominal injury can effectively be diagnosed and managed with contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS).

Gene delivery to the spinal cord using MRI-guided focused ultrasound

Publish Date: 04/25/2015

Non-invasive gene delivery across the blood–spinal cord barrier (BSCB) remains a challenge for treatment of spinal cord injury and disease.

Researchers convert microbubbles to even smaller nanobubbles using ultrasound

Publish Date: 04/04/2015

A team of researchers at the University of Toronto is developing a new form of microbubble delivery. The Toronto team is deploying ultrasound to implode the bubbles into several smaller nanobubbles that can cross biological barriers due to their size and release the payloads within the target area.

Focused ultrasound-induced blood-brain barrier opening to enhance interleukin-12 delivery for brain tumor immunotherapy

Publish Date: 03/21/2015

The purpose of this study was to elucidate the possibility of combining FUS-induced BBB opening with IL-12 delivery to enhance the anticancer immunological response for glioma treatment.

Modest growth seen for U.S. contrast agent and radiopharmaceutical market

Publish Date: 01/04/2015

The U.S. market for contrast agents and radiopharmaceuticals will grow slightly by 2023, according to a recent Decisions Resources Group report. A number of factors are impacting the market including health care reform, the call for lower radiation dose and reimbursement.

Contrast enhanced ultrasound expands at Point of Care

Publish Date: 11/08/2014

Once considered an add-on examination, contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) at point of care by clinicians expands diagnostic capabilities and is leading to new insights.