Experimental investigations have not fully explored the interaction between ultrasound beams and microbubble contrast agents. Moreover theoretical investigations have not solved the problem of the microbubble oscillation. A simple in-vitro system based on a commercial scanner (ATL UM9) was used to insonate (3 MHz transmission) diluted contrast suspensions of Definity and Quantison(TM) at different acoustic pressures (0.27-1.52 MPa). The experimental data were referred to a blood mimicking fluid in order to extract an estimate of their scattering cross-section.
The results were compared with the solutions of the three main bubble oscillation models, Rayleigh-Plesset, Herring and Gilmore. Non-linear solutions of the above models were produced numerically using the Mathematica Package Software.
The experiments showed that both agents provided a linear increase in scattering cross-section with increasing acoustic pressure. The thick shelled Quantison TM provided an increasing number of scatterers with increasing acoustic pressure, which proved that free bubbles leaked out of the shell. At high acoustic pressures both Quantison(TM) and Definity scattering cross-sections were almost identical, and were probably that of a free bubble.
The Rayleigh-Plesset model provided a scattering cross-section almost independent of acoustic pressure. On the contrary the scattering cross-sections calculated by the Herring and Gilmore models solutions displayed a definite dependence on acoustic pressure of an order higher than one, which is slightly higher than the order of dependence exhibited by the experimental data. However, the increase of the experimentally measured scattering cross-section with acoustic pressure was sharper than the calculated one by the above two models, This is most probably due to the fact that the models simulated damped and not free bubble oscillations.
In conclusion the Rayleigh-Plesset model was inadequate in describing the bubble oscillations even at small diagnostic acoustic pressures. The Herring and Gilmore models could simulate the dependence of the scattering cross-section of encapsulated microbubbles on acoustic pressure. However the contribution of free bubble oscillations has still to be modelled. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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|Published - May 2002