Department Seminar

Microbubbles in medical ultrasound: From tumor imaging to angiogenesis monitoring and drug delivery

Speaker Details:

Michalakis (Mike) Averkiou (Imaging Faculty Candidate)

Biomedical Ultrasound Laboratory University of Cyprus

Lecture Details:

May 1, 2014
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Foege N130A, Wallace H. Coulter Seminar Room


Functional imaging is a key factor in the accurate monitoring of response to cancer therapies targeting tumor vascularity to inhibit its growth, and contrast enhanced ultrasound has great potential in carrying out this task. Tiny microbubbles with diameters of 1-10 microns are injected intravenously and used as ultrasound contrast agents. The interaction of ultrasound waves with the contrast microbubbles is complex and nonlinear. Advances in nonlinear imaging techniques have enabled ultrasound to visualize the macro- and micro-vasculature in real time, unparalleled by any other imaging modality. The imaging methods and quantification approaches for contrast enhanced ultrasound together with results from clinical trials with liver cancer patients undergoing vascular targeted therapies will be presented. In the second part of this presentation, ultrasound-enhanced image-guided drug delivery approaches will be discussed. Ultrasound driven microbubbles under certain conditions can reversibly alter cell membrane permeability, a process often referred to as sonoporation, and trigger events down to the molecular level. The use of ultrasound and microbubbles loaded with drug nanoparticles has led to new methods for enhancing drug delivery and uptake. Initial results from a sonoporation clinical pilot study will be discussed.

Speaker Bio:

Prof. Michalakis (Mike) Averkiou is associate professor at the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering of the University of Cyprus and director of Biomedical Ultrasound Laboratory since 2005. He is the recipient of the Marie Curie Chair of Excellence of the European Commission. He received a BS, an MS and a PhD in 1987, 1989 and 1994, respectively, all in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Nonlinear Acoustics/Biomedical Ultrasound, from the University of Texas at Austin. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington from 1994 to 1996 and worked on lithotripsy, bubble dynamics, and therapeutic ultrasound. He joined Philips Medical Systems (1996-2005), and worked on diagnostic ultrasound imaging and specifically tissue harmonic imaging, and ultrasound contrast agents.

He has authored and co-authored over 80 journal articles and conference proceedings, and 5 book chapters. He holds 38 U.S. and international patents on diagnostic and therapeutic applications of ultrasound. His research interests are in the areas of ultrasound imaging, microbubble ultrasound contrast agents and their applications in oncology and cardiology, quantification of tumor angiogenesis, and ultrasound induced drug delivery.