Advanced Ultrasound in Diagnosis and Therapy ›› 2019, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (3): 62-75.doi: 10.37015/AUDT.2019.190812

• Review Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Applications in Molecular Ultrasound Imaging: Present and Future

Vishal Thumar, MDa, Ji-Bin Liu, MDb, John Eisenbrey, PhDb*()   

  1. a Department of Internal Medicine, Lankenau Medical Center, Wynnewood, PA, USA
    b Department of Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Received:2019-05-07 Online:2019-09-30 Published:2019-09-05
  • Contact: John Eisenbrey, PhD,


Molecular ultrasound imaging or targeted contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a relatively new technique that has varied applications to augment both diagnostics and therapeutics. Ultrasound contrast agents are conjugated to ligands that bind with specific biomarkers in the areas of interest which can then be quantified using ultrasound technology. This technique has numerous clinical applications including studying pathophysiology of disease, improving diagnostic sensitivity and specificity, and improving localized drug delivery. This technology, most notably, has proven useful in numerous oncologic and cardiovascular applications. Given ultrasound’s advantages over other radiographic studies including its low cost, lack of ionizing radiation, portability, ability to provide real-time imaging, and non-invasiveness, recent investigations have expanded the utility of molecular ultrasound. In this review, we briefly review targeted ultrasound contrast agents and explore the current applications of molecular ultrasound as well as future applications based on the currently published literature.

Key words: Molecular ultrasound imaging; Contrast-enhanced ultrasound; Therapeutics; Contrast media