Real-time MRI guidance for reproducible hyperosmolar opening of the blood-brain barrier in mice

Chengyan Chu, Guanshu Liu, Miroslaw Janowski, Jeff W.M. Bulte, Shen Li, Monica Pearl, Piotr Walczak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) prevents effective delivery of most therapeutic agents to the brain. Intra-arterial (IA) infusion of hyperosmotic mannitol has been widely used to open the BBB and improve parenchymal targeting, but the extent of BBB disruption has varied widely with therapeutic outcomes often being unpredictable. In this work, we show that real-time MRI can enable fine-tuning of the infusion rate to adjust and predict effective and local brain perfusion in mice, and thereby can be allowed for achieving the targeted and localized BBB opening (BBBO). Both the reproducibility and safety are validated by MRI and histology. The reliable and reproducible BBBO we developed in mice will allow cost-effective studies on the biology of the BBB and drug delivery to the brain. In addition, the IA route for BBBO also permits subsequent IA delivery of a specific drug during the same procedure and obtains high targeting efficiency of the therapeutic agent in the targeted tissue, which has great potential for future clinical translation in neuro-oncology, regenerative medicine and other neurological applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number921
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberOCT
StatePublished - Oct 26 2018


  • Blood brain barrier
  • Intra-arterial
  • MRI
  • Mannitol
  • Mouse model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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