All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Kenneth Hoyt

Advisory Committee Members

Alan Eberhardt

Kurt Zinn

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Biomedical Engineering (MBE) School of Engineering


Ultrasound is a noninvasive, inexpensive imaging modality used to characterize biological tissues. Targeted contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging is an emerging preclinical strategy which uses contrast agents for characterization of biological processes on a molecular level. These microbubble agents are lipid shelled micron-sized particles that have the capability to be coated with ligands such as antibodies or small peptides in order to bind to their target receptors. Molecular ultrasound imaging, using these targeted contrast agents, allows for a quantitative assessment of molecular targets with a high sensitivity. Although this technique is in preclinical research, further advances in contrast agent design and potential may soon bring clinical translation into human studies. This research proposal explores a novel model system for evaluating targeted ultrasound contrast agents using adenoviral vectors to regulate targeted receptor expression. Target receptors were induced using a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter adenoviral (Ad) vector for gene transfer and expression of the hemagglutinin (HA) tag. Receptors were modulated in vitro and in vivo by varying the viral dose. Targeted contrast agents, or microbubbles (MB), were conjugated with antibodies (anti-HA) using biotin-streptavidin chemistry and MB accumulation to target receptors is quantitatively characterized through microscopy or ultrasound imaging. The correlation established between the binding of contrast agents to the induced modulated receptors has the potential to contribute to therapeutic monitoring of various diseases such as cancer, inflammation, and thrombosis.

Included in

Engineering Commons



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