Site-specific opening of the blood-brain barrier.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of biophotonics, Volume 3, Issue 5-6, p.356-67 (2010)


Animals, Blood-Brain Barrier, Capillary Permeability, Drug Delivery Systems, Humans, Models, Neurological, Photochemotherapy, Therapeutics, Ultrasonic Therapy


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) poses a significant impediment for the delivery of therapeutic drugs into the brain. This is particularly problematic for the treatment of malignant gliomas which are characterized by diffuse infiltration of tumor cells into normal brain where they are protected by a patent BBB. Selective disruption of the BBB, followed by administration of anti-cancer agents, represents a promising approach for the elimination of infiltrating glioma cells. A summary of the techniques (focused ultrasound, photodynamic therapy and photochemical internalization) for site-specific opening of the BBB will be discussed in this review. Each approach is capable of causing localized and transient opening of the BBB with minimal damage to surrounding normal brain as evidenced from magnetic resonance images and histology.

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