The World Preclinical Congress on Blood-Brain Barrier was held June 15-16 in Boston.
Approximately 125 attendees listened to Kullervo Hynynen, PhD (University of Toronto) and Zsofia Kovacs, PhD (NIH) discuss their experiences using focused ultrasound to open the BBB. The meeting also centered on the need to develop small molecules that can cross the BBB with favorable potency and efficacy.
- Kullervo Hynynen, PhD, Professor of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, discussed imaging of BBB opening induced by focused ultrasound. He explained how ultrasound combined with intra-vascular microbubbles can be used to achieve targeted, reversible BBB opening. He presented data from his animal studies as well as the first image-guided BBB opening in humans, which was achieved last year. He then discussed MRI, ultrasound, and two-photon imaging evaluations of focused ultrasound-induced BBB opening that demonstrated little to no adverse effects.
- Zsofia Kovacs, PhD, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Radiology and Imaging Sciences at the National Institutes of Health, discussed her use of low intensity pulsed focused ultrasound (pFUS) and microbubbles to create a sterile inflammatory response in the rat brain. She has been documenting the cellular and molecular responses in the brain following pFUS and microbubble exposures through the disruption of the BBB. Inflammatory changes in the brain associated with BBB opening indicate that pFUS plus microbubbles rapidly affects the cerebral vasculature and induces stress within various cellular elements of the neurovascular unit.