An in vitro study of a microbubble contrast agent using a clinical ultrasound imaging system

V Sboros, C M Moran, S D Pye, W N McDicken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Optimal insonation settings for contrast imaging are yet to be specified, mainly due to the lack of good understanding of the behaviour of the microbubbles. A satisfactory model that explains the behaviour of individual contrast agent scatterers has not yet been reported in the literature. An in vitro system based on a commercial scanner (ATL HDI3000) has been developed to investigate the backscatter of such agents. Suspensions of Definity(R) were introduced in an anechoic tank. The frequency of transmitted ultrasound varied from 1 to 5 MHz, pulse period from 2 to 10 periods and peak negative acoustic pressure from 0.08 to 1.7 MPa. The backscatter at the fundamental and second harmonic frequency windows from the agent was normalized in terms of the corresponding components of backscatter from a blood mimicking fluid suspension. The agent provided a dominant resonance effect at 1.6 MHz transmit frequency. Second harmonic normalized backscatter averaged around 9 dB higher than the fundamental. The normalized fundamental backscatter intensity was linear with peak negative pressure. The second harmonic at resonance peaked at 0.5 MPa suggestive of bubble disruption above such pressure. The system proved capable of illustrating the ultrasonic behaviour of Definity(R) in vitro, and the investigation suggested particular insonation conditions for optimal image enhancement using Definity(R).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-173
Number of pages15
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2004


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