Medical ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) have evolved from straight image enhancers to pathophysiological markers and drug delivery vehicles. However, the exact dynamic behavior of the encapsulated bubbles composing UCAs is still not entirely known. In this article, we propose to characterize full populations of UCAs, by looking at the translational effects of ultrasound radiation force on each bubble in a diluted population. The setup involves a sensitive, fully programmable transmitter/receiver and two unconventional, real-time display modes. Such display modes are used to measure the displacements produced by irradiation at frequencies in the range 2-8 MHz and pressures between 150 kPa and 1.5 MPa. The behavior of individual bubbles freely moving in a water tank is clearly observed, and it is shown that it depends on the bubble physical dimensions as well as on the viscoelastic properties of the encapsulation. A new method also is distilled that estimates the viscoelastic properties of bubble encapsulation by fitting the experimental bubble velocities to values simulated by a numerical model based on the modified Herring equation and the Bjerknes force. The fit results are a shear modulus of 18 MPa and a viscosity of 0.23 Pas for a thermoplastic PVC-AN shell. Phospholipid shell elasticity and friction parameter of the experimental contrast agent are estimated as 0.8 N/m and 1 10- 7 kg/s, respectively (shear modulus of 32 MPa and viscosity of 0.19 Pas, assuming 4nm shell thickness).,
I E E E Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
Department of Cardiology

Vos, R., Guidi, F., Boni, A., & Tortoli, P. (2007). Method for microbubble characterization using primary radiation force. I E E E Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, 54(7), 1333–1344. doi:10.1109/TUFFC.2007.393