Noninvasive Ultrasonic Drug Uncaging Technique

Type: Chemical / Small Molecules,

Keywords: Nanoparticles, Targeted drug delivery, Focused ultrasound, Neuromodulation, Neuromodulatory agent, Nanotechnology, Nanoemulsion

Nanoparticles for ultrasonic uncaging of neuromodulatory drugs in the nervous system

We have made and validated these nanoparticles (as supported by the BRAIN Initiative), and shown that after an intravenous infusion of the nanoparticles, they induce drug effects only when and where focused ultrasound is applied to the brain. We have seen that the particles may be loaded with any of a variety of neuromodulatory agents. We have also validated a production and storage scheme that will allow them to be stored long term and shipped frozen to collaborator sites. We are now working on a fool-proof protocol for any lab to easily make their own particles.

* Novel noninvasive technique to precisely deliver drugs to the brain

* High spatial and temporal resolution
* Mediate more precise control of neural activity


* PMID: 30408444, 30953907, 28094959, 28774921

* Wang et al., (2018). Noninvasive Ultrasonic Drug Uncaging Maps Whole-Brain Functional Networks. Neuron 100:728-738.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.10.042

* Zhong et al., (2019). Polymeric perfluorocarbon nanoemulsions are ultrasound-activated wireless drug infusion catheters. Biomaterials 206:73-86. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2019.03.021

* Airan et al., (2017). Noninvasive Targeted Transcranial Neuromodulation via Focused Ultrasound Gated Drug Release from Nanoemulsions. Nano Lett 17:652-659. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b03517

* Airan, (2017). Neuromodulation with nanoparticles. Science 357:465. doi: 10.1126/science.aao1200



Raag Airan, Assistant Professor


Stanford University



Qian Zhong
Muna Aryal
Jeffrey B. Wang
Daivik Vyas
Doug Martin
Jason Yoon
Niloufar Hosseini-Nassab
Mahaveer Purohit
Yun Ralph Xiang
James Bishop
Tommaso Di Ianni
Zhenbo Huang
Sunmee Park
Brenda Yu
Matine Azadian
Sedona Ewbanl
Alex Hart
Gabriella Muwunga
Christopher Minasi

Nolan Williams
Bob Fisher
Kim Butts Pauly
Boris Heifets
Charles Caskey
Thilo Wolmesdorf
Kathy Ferrara



RF1 MH114252; U01 NS107666 (subcontract)