Noninvasive, transient and selective blood-brain barrier opening in non-human primates in vivo

PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22598. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022598. Epub 2011 Jul 22.


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a specialized vascular system that impedes entry of all large and the vast majority of small molecules including the most potent central nervous system (CNS) disease therapeutic agents from entering from the lumen into the brain parenchyma. Microbubble-enhanced, focused ultrasound (ME-FUS) has been previously shown to disrupt noninvasively, selectively, and transiently the BBB in small animals in vivo. For the first time, the feasibility of transcranial ME-FUS BBB opening in non-human primates is demonstrated with subsequent BBB recovery. Sonications were combined with two different types of microbubbles (customized 4-5 µm and Definity®). 3T MRI was used to confirm the BBB disruption and to assess brain damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / diagnostic imaging*
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / injuries
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / instrumentation
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Microbubbles*
  • Primates*
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonics / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonics / methods*
  • Ultrasonography