[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
13-Dec-2013

[ | E-mail ] Share Share

Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
240-535-4954
American Institute of Physics

Clot-busters, caught on tape

High-speed photography provides first direct evidence of how microbubbles dissolve killer blood clots

IMAGE: This is a time lapse image of a bubble (purple) burrowing into the network of a clot. The bubble is initially at rest in the fluid next to the clot....

Click here for more information.

WASHINGTON, D.C. Dec. 13, 2013 -- Ultrasound-stimulated microbubbles have been showing promise in recent years as a non-invasive way to break up dangerous blood clots. But though many researchers have studied the effectiveness of this technique, not much was understood about why it works. Now a team of researchers in Toronto has collected the first direct evidence showing how these wiggling microbubbles cause a blood clot's demise. The team's findings are featured in the AIP Publishing journal Applied Physics Letters.

Previous work on this technique, which is called sonothrombolysis, has focused on indirect indications of its effectiveness, including how much a blood clot shrinks or how well blood flow is restored following the procedure. The Toronto team, which included researchers from the University of Toronto and the Sunnybrook Research Institute, tried to catch the clot-killing process in action. Using high-speed photography and a 3-D microscopy technique, researchers discovered that stimulating the microbubbles with ultrasonic pulses pushes the bubbles toward the clots. The bubbles deform the clots' boundaries then begin to burrow into them, creating fluid-filled tunnels that break the clots up from the inside out.

IMAGE: This is a fluorescence imaging of a clot network (red) after sustaining damage from an ultrasound stimulated bubble. The bubble violently penetrated the clot leaving behind a path of damaged...

Click here for more information.

These improvements in the understanding of how sonothrombolysis works will help researchers develop more sophisticated methods of breaking up blood clots, said lead author Christopher Acconcia.

Efforts so far "may only be scratching the surface with respect to effectiveness," said Acconcia. "Our findings provide a tool that can be used to develop more sophisticated sonothrombolysis techniques, which may lead to new tools to safely and efficiently dissolve clots in a clinical setting."

IMAGE: This is a 3D rendering of a clot network (red) after sustaining damage from an ultrasound stimulated bubble. The bubble violently penetrated the clot and this fluorescence imaging technique shows...

Click here for more information.

###

The article, "Interactions between ultrasound stimulated microbubbles and fibrin clots" by Christopher Acconcia, Ben Y. C. Leung, Kullervo Hynynen and David E. Goertz appears in the journal Applied Physics Letters. See: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4816750

ABOUT THE JOURNAL

Applied Physics Letters features concise, rapid reports on significant new findings in applied physics. The journal covers new experimental and theoretical research on applications of physics phenomena related to all branches of science, engineering, and modern technology. See: http://apl.aip.org



[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail Share Share ]

 


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.