Ultrasonic-activated micellar drug delivery for cancer treatment

J Pharm Sci. 2009 Mar;98(3):795-811. doi: 10.1002/jps.21444.


The use of nanoparticles and ultrasound in medicine continues to evolve. Great strides have been made in the areas of producing micelles, nanoemulsions, and solid nanoparticles that can be used in drug delivery. An effective nanocarrier allows for the delivery of a high concentration of potent medications to targeted tissue while minimizing the side effect of the agent to the rest of the body. Polymeric micelles have been shown to encapsulate therapeutic agents and maintain their structural integrity at lower concentrations. Ultrasound is currently being used in drug delivery as well as diagnostics, and has many advantages that elevate its importance in drug delivery. The technique is noninvasive, thus no surgery is needed; the ultrasonic waves can be easily controlled by advanced electronic technology so that they can be focused on the desired target volume. Additionally, the physics of ultrasound are widely used and well understood; thus ultrasonic application can be tailored towards a particular drug delivery system. In this article, we review the recent progress made in research that utilizes both polymeric micelles and ultrasonic power in drug delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Drug Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Micelles*
  • Surface-Active Agents / chemistry
  • Surface-Active Agents / therapeutic use
  • Ultrasonics*


  • Micelles
  • Surface-Active Agents