Ine Lentacker

Ine Lentacker Personal Picture.jpg



Dr. Ine Lentacker
Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy
Ghent University
Ottergemsesteenweg 460
9000 Gent
Tel: 0032 9 2648047 (secretary)
Tel: 0032 9 264 8078 (direct)





Pharmacist with great distinction, Ghent University.


FWO funded PhD Student.


Doctor in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines “ Design and evaluation of drug-loaded microbubbles for ultrasound guided cancer therapy.”


FWO post-doctoral researcher.

Main research interests

Ultrasound and microbubble assisted drug delivery, microbubble modification, drug-loaded microbubbles, theranostics, 19F MRI perfluorocarbon nanoparticles, gene therapy,

Educational tasks

  • Selected lessons on metabolism in the course Biochemie II(2nd Bachelor pharmacists).
  • Selected lessons on ultrasound triggered drug delivery.


Summary of Research Project(s)

Dr. Lentacker’s main research interest is the development of drug loaded microbubbles for ultrasound triggered gene-and drug delivery. In response to ultrasound, microbubbles are able to cavitate and implode leading to the local release of their drug payload. Moreover, cavitation and implosion can result in the formation of temporary cell membrane pores which may facilitate cellular uptake in ultrasound treated areas (“sonoporation”). This concept could be particularly useful to obtain ultrasound triggered, localized drug delivery which may lead to lower drug doses and reduced side-effects. In 2007 he concept of nanoparticle loaded microbubbles was established in which pre-formed nanoparticles are attached to the outside of the microbubble shell (Figure 1). This concept was also used in the European project “Sonodrugs” to selectively deliver chemotherapeutic drugs to cancer cells. (PhD Bart Geers).

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Figure 1. Schematic representation of liposome loaded microbubbles. The liposomes around the microbubbles can be pre-loaded with chemotherapeutic drugs like doxorubicin or genetic material like pDNA, siRNA or mRNA.

Currently we are evaluating mRNA loaded microbubbles in collaboration with Prof. K. Breckpot (VUB) for ultrasound triggered mRNA delivery to dendritic cells (PhD Project Heleen Dewitte). This with the final aim to develop an in vivo cancer vaccination strategy thereby avoiding time-consuming and ex vivo procedures.

In the PhD project of Ine De Cock the interaction between microbubbles and cell membranes is studied with real-time confocal microscopy with the aim to elucidate the mechanisms leading to increased drug uptake during sonoporation.

Another research theme comprises the development of theranostic perfluorocarbon nanoparticles. In collaboration with Prof. U. Himmelreich (MOSAIC, KULeuven) we are evaluating the possibility to design antigen loaded perfluorocarbon nanoparticles to simultaneously load dendritic cells with  antigens and track them with 19F MRI.