Publication Date



Scientific Reports


The development of adjuvant techniques to improve thrombolytic efficacy is important for advancing ischemic stroke therapy. We characterized octafluoropropane and recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA)-loaded echogenic liposomes (OFP t-ELIP) using differential interference and fluorescence microscopy, attenuation spectroscopy, and electrozone sensing. The loading of rt-PA in OFP t-ELIP was assessed using spectrophotometry. Further, it was tested whether the agent shields rt-PA against degradation by plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). An in vitro system was used to assess whether ultrasound (US) combined with either Definity or OFP t-ELIP enhances rt-PA thrombolysis. Human whole blood clots were mounted in a flow system and visualized using an inverted microscope. The perfusate consisted of either (1) plasma alone, (2) rt-PA, (3) OFP t-ELIP, (4) rt-PA and US, (5) OFP t-ELIP and US, (6) Definity and US, or (7) rt-PA, Definity, and US (n = 16 clots per group). An intermittent US insonation scheme was employed (220 kHz frequency, and 0.44 MPa peak-to-peak pressures) for 30 min. Microscopic imaging revealed that OFP t-ELIP included a variety of structures such as liposomes (with and without gas) and lipid-shelled microbubbles. OFP t-ELIP preserved up to 76% of rt-PA activity in the presence of PAI-1, whereas only 24% activity was preserved for unencapsulated rt-PA. The use of US with rt-PA and Definity enhanced lytic efficacy (p < 0.05) relative to rt-PA alone. US combined with OFP t-ELIP enhanced lysis over OFP t-ELIP alone (p < 0.01). These results demonstrate that ultrasound combined with Definity or OFP t-ELIP can enhance the lytic activity relative to rt-PA or OFP t-ELIP alone, respectively.


Brain Ischemia, Contrast Media, Humans, In Vitro Techniques, Stroke, Thrombolytic Therapy, Time-Lapse Imaging, Ultrasonic Therapy



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