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Ultrasound microbubble contrast agents: application to therapy for peripheral vascular disease.

Ultrasound contrast agents are not only effective in ultrasonic imaging but are also important tools for drug or gene delivery. Ultrasound beams can disrupt microbubbles and cell membranes, offering the opportunity to locally deliver drugs or genes. Liposome-shelled microbubbles have many advantages and are widely used in many applications, while Lipofectamine (Invitrogen, Life Technologies, Carlsbad, CA, USA), as a material of microbubble membranes, has been used to enhance the effects of gene delivery. Ultrasound contrast agents that have therapeutic effects can be used for treating peripheral vascular diseases, particularly in thrombotic and angiogenic diseases. A combination of targeted contrast agent and drug-carrying contrast agent may be safer and more effective in treating thrombosis. Vascular endothelial growth factor-loaded microbubbles are expected to treat a variety of neovascular diseases such as severe limb ischemia and other diseases. Although there are several limitations in the application of therapeutic ultrasound microbubble contrast agents, it will offer a new hope for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease.

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