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Research project


Status: Ongoing

Drug delivery through microbubbles: the quest for the missing link (VIDI Kooiman)

What we do

About our project

What is the motivation for this research?

Treating cardiovascular disease and cancer using ultrasound-activated vibrating microbubbles (1-10 µm in size) has shown preclinical potential to boost drug therapy and reduce side-effects because drugs are delivered locally. Recently, the first clinical trials across the world demonstrated safety of the treatment. However, the underlying mechanism is unknown which prevents maximum therapeutic outcome and hinders widespread clinical use.

What is the aim?

The main objective is to disentangle the in vivo microbubble-vessel wall-drug interaction spatially, temporally, and mechanistically.

How will you perform this research?

We will disentangle the in vivo microbubble-vessel wall-drug interaction by focusing on three main objectives:
Objective 1: elucidating the microbubble-cell-drug link: from in vitro to in vivo;
Objective 2: defining the in vivo microbubble-cell-drug link preclinically;
Objective 3: assessing microbubble-mediated drug uptake in clinical feasability trial in patients. For objective 1 and 2 the ultra-high-speed camera Brandaris 128 coupled to the custom-made confocal microscope will be used to simultaneously record the microbubble oscillation and the cellular/tissue response.

What is the desirable outcome?

The project’ achievements will address the exact mechanisms between microbubbles, drugs, and diseased cells so we can bring this microbubble-mediated therapy to patients.

Funds & Grants

NWO Vidi 17543


Collaborations within Erasmus MC


Collaborations outside Erasmus MC

Leeds Microbubble Consortium
Laboratory of Acoustical Wavefield Imaging, Delft University of Technology


Our team


  • Inés Beekers, PhD

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