An Open Access Chamber Designed for the Acoustic Characterisation of Microbubbles

Elliott Smith, Luzhen Nie, James McLaughlan, Harry Clegg, Thomas Carpenter, David Cowell, Stephen Evans, Alejandro F. Frangi, Steven Freear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Microbubbles are used as contrast agents in clinical ultrasound for Left Ventricular Opacification (LVO) and perfusion imaging. They are also the subject of promising research in therapeutics as a drug delivery mechanism or for sonoporation and co-administration. For maximum efficacy in these applications, it is important to understand the acoustic characteristics of the administered microbubbles. Despite this, there is significant variation in the experimental procedures and equipment used to measure the acoustic properties of microbubble populations. A chamber was designed to facilitate acoustic characterisation experiments and was manufactured using additive manufacturing techniques. The design has been released to allow wider uptake in the research community. The efficacy of the chamber for acoustic characterisation has been explored with an experiment to measure the scattering of SonoVue® microbubbles at the fundamental frequency and second harmonic under interrogation from emissions in the frequency range of 1.6 to 6.4 MHz. The highest overall scattering values were measured at 1.6 MHz and decreased as the frequency increased, a result which is in agreement with previously published measurements. Statistical analysis of the acoustic scattering measurements have been performed and a significant difference, at the 5% significance level, was found between the samples containing contrast agent and the control sample containing only deionised water. These findings validate the proposed design for measuring the acoustic scattering characteristics of ultrasound contrast agents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1818
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Acoustic characterisation
  • Contrast agent
  • Drug delivery
  • Microbubble
  • Scattering
  • Ultrasound

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