Molecular imaging agents for ultrasound

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2018 Aug;45:113-120. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2018.03.017. Epub 2018 Apr 7.


Ultrasound (US) imaging is a safe, sensitive and affordable imaging modality with a wide usage in the clinic. US signal can be further enhanced by using echogenic contrast agents (UCAs) which amplify the US signal. Developments in UCAs which are targeted to sites of disease allow the use of US imaging to provide molecular information. Unfortunately, traditional UCAs are too large to leave the vascular space limiting the application of molecular US to intravascular markers. In this mini review, we highlight the most recent reports on the application of molecular US imaging in the clinic and summarize the latest nanoparticle platforms used to develop nUCAs. We believe that the highlighted technologies will have a great impact on the evolution of the US imaging field.

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.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Contrast Media / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Microbubbles
  • Molecular Imaging / instrumentation
  • Molecular Imaging / methods*
  • Nanoparticles / analysis*
  • Nanotechnology / methods
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonography / methods*


  • Contrast Media