In vitro studies of a new thrombus-specific ultrasound contrast agent

Evan C. Unger, Thomas P. McCreery, Robert H. Sweitzer, De Kang Shen, Guanli Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Ultrasound is used as o primary diagnostic technique for the detection of deep venous thrombosis. The purpose of this study is to describe the development of a new thrombus-specific ultrasound contrast agent: The linear hexapeptide (lysine-glutamine-alanine-glycine-aspartate-valine) was synthesized and coupled to a lipid moiety. The targeted lipid was then incorporated into the lipid blend for the contrast agent Aerosomes (ImaRx, Tucson, AZ, USA). The lipid blend was used to entrap perfluorobutane microbubbles. The microbubbles were sized and studied in vitro for acoustic stability, binding to blood dot, and ultrasound enhancement in vitro of blood clot. The results showed the mean size of the specific ultrasound contrast agent (MRX-408) was about 2.0 μm. The microbubbles appeared as smooth spherical structures. Microscopy showed that the targeted bubbles bound to blood clot whereas control, nontargeted bubbles did not bind to blood clot. In vitro acoustic study showed similar stability of the microbubbles compared with control microbubbles. The targeted microbubbles enhanced blood clot in vitro whereas nontargeted microbubbles did not enhance clot. Thus this promising new thrombus-specific ultrasound contrast agent could potentially improve detection of thrombosis by ultrasound and might be useful for distinguishing between new and old thrombosis. In viva studies are in progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58G-61G
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number12 A
StatePublished - Jun 18 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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