Sonophoresis Using Ultrasound Contrast Agents for Transdermal Drug Delivery: An In Vivo Experimental Study

Donghee Park, Heungil Ryu, Han Sung Kim, Young sun Kim, Kyu Sil Choi, Hyunjin Park, Jongbum Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Sonophoresis temporally increases skin permeability such that various medications can be delivered noninvasively. Previous sonophoresis studies have suggested that cavitation plays an important role in enhancing transdermal drug delivery (TDD). In this study, the feasibility of controlled cavitation using ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) at high frequency was explored through in vivo experiments in a rat model. Two commercially available UCAs, SonoVue® and Definity®, were used at 2.47 MHz and 1.12 MHz, respectively. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran with 0.1% UCA was used as the drug to be delivered through the skin. Ultrasound with a 10 ms pulse and a 1% duty cycle at 1 MPa acoustic pressure for 30 min was applied in all sonication sessions. The efficacy of sonophoresis with UCAs was quantitatively analyzed using an optical imaging system that was used to count photons emitted from fluorescein. The results showed that the proposed sonophoresis method significantly improved drug penetration compared with the traditional sonophoresis method with 4 kD, 20 kD and 150 kD FITC-dextrans at 1.12 MHz, and with 4 kD and 20 kD FITC-dextrans at 2.47 MHz. Sonophoresis for TDD was performed more effectively with the aid of UCAs. Sonophoresis with UCAs has excellent potential for broad applications in drug delivery for diseases requiring the chronic administration of medications such as diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-650
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Pacific System Co., Ltd., Incheon, Korea, the Leading Foreign Research Institute Recruitment Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) ( 2011-00263 ) and the Samsung Biomedical Research Institute ( #SBRI C-B0-215-1 ).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Sonophoresis Using Ultrasound Contrast Agents for Transdermal Drug Delivery: An In Vivo Experimental Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this