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An animation describing the use of MRI-guided focused ultrasound and microbubbles to overcome the blood-brain barrier for drug delivery

The blood-brain barrier protects us - it prevents pathogens from crossing from capillaries into brain tissue. However, it is also a major barrier to drug delivery, impeding the development of brain disease treatments. A non-invasive, reversible, and targeted procedure is being developed at Sunnybrook Research Institute to tackle this problem. Through the use of focused ultrasound and microbubbles, the blood-brain barrier’s permeability is increased transiently. Circulating drugs can reach their target tissue without compromising the overall protective role of the barrier.


This is impactful for the future of brain medicine, and needs to be communicated to a scientific audience to gain recognition and more widespread understanding of this research. This animation is intended to be shown in presentations and conferences to members of the scientific community in related fields.


Prof. Marc Dryer (primary)
Prof. Nick Woolridge (2nd voting member)

Biomedical Communications,
University of Toronto


Dr. Isabelle Aubert
Laboratory Medicine & Pathology, University of Toronto


The process of developing this animated narrative has involved multiple phases of planning and iteration prior to 3D production. These phases include script-writing, storyboarding, and the development of a 2D animatic, where the story was fleshed out and many of the visual communication problems were tackled. More detail about the process work is coming soon - for now, you can view the 2D animatic below, and see how the final scenes were defined at this early stage.

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