2001 年 14 巻 3-4 号 p. 82-86
Ultrasound has been in use for the last three decades as a modality for medical diagnostic imaging. Recently, there have been numerous reports about the application of nonthermal ultrasound energy for targeting or controlling drug release. This new concept of therapeutic ultrasound combined with drugs has led to great excitement in various medical fields. Ultrasound energy can enhance the effects of thrombolytic agents, such as urokinase, and clinical trials of therapeutic ultrasound catheters for treatment of strokes are underway. Devices with ultrasound transducers implanted in transdermal drug patches for possible delivery of insulin through the skin are also being evaluated. Chemical activation of drugs by ultrasound energy for treatment of various cancers, such as brain tumors, is being studied. This new field was recently termed “Sonodynamic Therapy”. Various examples of ultrasound applications that could lead to revolutionary ultrasound therapies in the future are under investigation.