Feasibility and safety of focused ultrasound-enabled liquid biopsy in the brain of a porcine model

Christopher Pham Pacia, Lifei Zhu, Yaoheng Yang, Yimei Yue, Arash Nazeri, H. Michael Gach, Michael R. Talcott, Eric C. Leuthardt & Hong Chen. Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 7449 (2020) Read More


Although blood-based liquid biopsy is a promising noninvasive technique to acquire a comprehensive molecular tumor profile by detecting cancer-specific biomarkers (e.g. DNA, RNA, and proteins), there has been limited progress for brain tumor application partially because the low permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) hinders the release of tumor biomarkers. We previously demonstrated focused ultrasound-enabled liquid biopsy (FUS-LBx) that uses FUS to increase BBB permeability in murine glioblastoma models and thus enhance the release of tumor-specific biomarkers into the bloodstream. The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of FUS-LBx in the normal brain tissue of a porcine model. Increased BBB permeability was confirmed by the significant increase (p = 0.0053) in Ktrans (the transfer coefficient from blood to brain extravascular extracellular space) when comparing the FUS-sonicated brain area with the contralateral non-sonicated area. Meanwhile, there was a significant increase in the blood concentrations of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, p = 0.0074) and myelin basic protein (MBP, p = 0.0039) after FUS sonication as compared with before FUS. There was no detectable tissue damage by T2 *-weighted MRI and histological analysis. Findings from this study suggest that FUS-LBx is a promising technique for noninvasive and localized diagnosis of the molecular profiles of brain diseases with the potential to translate to the clinic. © 2020, The Author(s).

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Posted on May 18, 2020
Posted in: Neurogenetics & Transcriptomics, NeuroRestorative Therapy, Neurovascular Injury & Repair, Publications Authors: