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Nanobubbles and use thereof

Blood Brain BarrierdiagnosticDrug targetingNanobubblesTheranostic


The object of the invention are nanobubbles characterized by a lipophilic shell that surrounds a gaseous portion, capable of carrying, in addition to gas, compounds of a lipophilic and / or hydrophilic nature.

Technical features

The invention is based on using suitable lipophilic bilayer compounds to stabilize the nanobubbles, thus avoiding the escape of the gas contained inside. This procedure also allows to prepare nanobubbles of nanometric dimensions with a high uniformity in size. They can behave like cavitation cores capable of being activated by exposure to ultrasound (US) at low power frequency. US-induced cavitation leading to the destruction of gas bubbles is capable of opening pores of approximately 300 nm diameter in cell membranes with a half-life of 20-50ms. This phenomenon, known as “sonoporation”, can be functional to increase cellular uptake or the passage through biological membranes of drugs and genetic material. Furthermore, nanobubbles can deliver drugs both of a hydrophilic nature, in the aqueous layer inside the bilayer, and lipophilic in the bilayer, simultaneously with a gaseous compound (they can simultaneously contain perfluorocarbons and drugs of a lipophilic and hydrophilic nature).

Possible Applications

  • In diagnostic as ultrasound contrast agents, especially in paediatric and veterinary ultrasound imaging;
  • Therapeutic delivery: convey active substances to the diseases of the Central Nervous System.


  • Able to deliver both hydrophilic and lipophilic molecules;
  • Modified by adding on their surface targeting agents such as: polypeptides, polynucleotides, antibodies or antibodies fragments;
  • Stable over time and are homogeneous in size and morphology.