J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2014;17(1):136-53.
High intensity focused ultrasound technology, its scope
and applications in therapy and drug delivery.
Ultrasonography is a safe, inexpensive and wide-spread diagnostic tool capable of
producing real-time non-invasive images without significant biological effects.
However, the propagation of higher energy, intensity and frequency ultrasound
waves through living tissues can induce thermal, mechanical and chemical
effects useful for a variety of therapeutic applications. With the recent development
of clinically approved High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) systems,
therapeutic ultrasound is now a medical reality. Indeed, HIFU has been
used for the thermal ablation of pathological lesions; localized, minimally
invasive ultrasound-mediated drug delivery through the transient formation
of pores on cell membranes; the temporary disruption of skin and the blood
brain barrier; the ultrasound induced break-down of blood clots; and the
targeted release of drugs using ultrasound and temperature sensitive
drug carriers. This review seeks to engage the pharmaceutical research
ùcommunity by providing an overview on the biological effects of
ultrasound as well as highlighting important therapeutic applications, current
deficiencies and future directions.