Although high-frequency ultrasound imaging is gaining attention in various applications, hardly any ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) dedicated to such frequencies (>15 MHz) are available for contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) imaging. Moreover, the composition of the limited commercially available UCAs for high-frequency CEUS (hfCEUS) is largely unknown, while shell properties have been shown to be an important factor for their performance. The aim of our study was to produce UCAs in-house for hfCEUS. Twelve different UCA formulations A-L were made by either sonication or mechanical agitation. The gas core consisted of C4F10 and the main coating lipid was either 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DSPC; A-F formulation) or 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC; G-L formulation). Mechanical agitation resulted in UCAs with smaller microbubbles (number weighted mean diameter ∼1 μm) than sonication (number weighted mean diameter ∼2 μm} ). UCA formulations with similar size distributions but different main lipid components showed that the DPPC-based UCA formulations had higher nonlinear responses at both the fundamental and subharmonic frequencies in vitro for hfCEUS using the Vevo2100 high-frequency preclinical scanner (FUJIFILM VisualSonics, Inc.). In addition, UCA formulations F (DSPC-based) and L (DPPC-based) that were made by mechanical agitation performed similar in vitro to the commercially available Target-Ready MicroMarker (FUJIFILM VisualSonics, Inc.). UCA formulation F also performed similar to Target-Ready MicroMarker in vivo in pigs with similar mean contrast intensity within the kidney ( n = 7 ), but formulation L did not. This is likely due to the lower stability of formulation L in vivo. Our study shows that DSPC-based microbubbles produced by mechanical agitation resulted in small microbubbles with high nonlinear responses suitable for hfCEUS imaging.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Contrast agent, Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) imaging, High-frequency, in vitro, in vivo, Microbubble
Persistent URL,
Journal I E E E Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
Daeichin, V, van Rooij, T, Skachkov, I, Ergin, B, Specht, P, Lima, A.A.P, … Kooiman, K. (2017). Microbubble Composition and Preparation for High-Frequency Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging: In Vitro and in Vivo Evaluation. I E E E Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, 64(3), 555–567. doi:10.1109/TUFFC.2016.2640342