Tethering functional ligands onto shell of ultrasound active polymeric microbubbles

Francesca Cavalieri, Ali El Hamassi, Ester Chiessi, Gaio Paradossi, Raffaella Villa, Nadia Zaffaroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hollow (air-filled) microparticles, i.e., microbubbles, provide a promising novel vehicle for both local delivery of therapeutic agents and simultaneous diagnostic ultrasound echo investigations. In this paper, we describe the synthetic routes for decorating the polymeric shell of a poly(vinyl alcohol)-based microbubble with low and high molecular weight ligands with pharmacological relevance. Investigations on physical properties of microbubbles and surface chemical coupling with different cargo molecules such as L-cysteine, L-lysine, poly(L-lysine), chitosan, and β-cyclodextrin were carried out by CD and NMR spectroscopies, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and microcalorimetry. The in vitro cytotoxicity and biocompatibility of the polymer microbubbles have been also determined toward different cell lines. The results are discussed in terms of the features shown by this device, i.e., injectability, long shelf life, ease of preparation, biocompatibility, loading and cargo capacities, and functional properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-611
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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