Complete | October 2021

2020 Call: Refining intracerebral administration of drugs with sonoporation-activated microbubbles

Project OC-2020-015

Intracerebral administration of central nervous system (CNS) active agents through intracranial surgery is a widely used procedure in modern neuroscience. The discovery of new therapeutic treatment options for CNS diseases or the use of viruses to study the molecular and cellular functions of a gene within an identified cell type in the brain, mainly explain why such a methodology is popular among neuroscientists. Indeed, the range of molecules entering the brain parenchyma is greatly limited by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). While a variety of strategies to circumvent the BBB for have been investigated, very few of them have been shown to enable efficient, safe and targeted opening of the BBB.

Microbubbles (MB) activated by focused ultrasound (MB-FUS) is a unique approach whereby circulating gaseous microbubbles are activated by the transcranial application of acoustic energy and lead to noninvasive, safe, transient, and targeted opening of the BBB, providing a unique avenue for the delivery of therapeutic agents from the systemic circulation into the brain. Providing evidence that MB-FUS technology is as efficient as classically used surgical methods to deliver active substances into the brain would lead to significant methodological refinement enabling to significantly increase welfare of animals classically involved in such procedures. Therefore, this project will be the first to compare the efficacy of MB-FUS with intracranial surgery and assess the ability of this approach to relieving neurobehavioural symptoms in a well-validated mouse model of CNS disorder.

Dr Anthony Laugeray
University of Lausanne

Prof. Paola Bezzi
University of Lausanne

Assistant Prof. Anthony Delalande
University of Orléan, France