Could the application of low-intensity pulsed focused ultrasound protect neurons from the toxins that cause Parkinson’s disease? Have scientists found an important clue to stop or slow recurrence of liver tumors after focused ultrasound ablation? Do nanoparticles lead to more efficient drug delivery? Find the answers in this month’s research roundup.

researchroundupNeuroprotective Effect of Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound Against MPP+-Induced Neurotoxicity in PC12 Cells: Involvement of K2P Channels and Stretch-Activated Ion Channels
Researchers at Xi'an Jiaotong University in China found a neuroprotective effect from applying low-intensity pulsed focused ultrasound to parkinsonian cells. Parkinson's disease is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. In this study, focused ultrasound application prevented MPP+, a dopaminergic neuron toxin, from harming the parkinsonian cells. What parameters did they use, and what was the mechanism? See Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.

Overexpression and Correlation of HIF-2α, VEGFA, and EphA2 in Residual Hepatocellular Carcinoma Following High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Treatment: Implications for Tumor Recurrence and Progression
What causes liver cancer to reoccur after high intensity focused ultrasound is used to ablate a portion of the tumors? A multi-disciplinary collaborative group of researchers in China looked at the molecular response of athymic mice to identify some possible clues. They found that it might be the factors that increase angiogenesis. See Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine.

Ultrasound-sensitive Nanoparticle Aggregates for Targeted Drug Delivery
Are nanoparticle aggregates superior carriers for delivering drugs to tumors? Scientists from Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital tested this theory in a mouse model. They found a significant increase in both the ability to concentrate nanoparticles at the tumor site and in the reduction in tumor volume when compared with tumors treated with a 20-fold higher dose of the free drug. See Biomaterials.

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