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Albumin Coated Microbubble Optimization: Custom Fabrication and Comprehensive Characterization.

Ultrasound Med Biol. 2012 Jul 3;

Authors: Mulvana H, Browning RJ, Tang MX, Hajnal JV, Eckersley RJ


Gas microbubbles are used routinely to improve contrast in medical diagnostic imaging. The emerging fields of microbubble-enhanced quantitative imaging and microbubble-enhanced drug delivery have further enhanced the drive toward microbubble characterization and design techniques. The quest to improve efficiency, particularly in the field of drug delivery, presents a requirement to develop methods to manipulate microbubble properties to improve utility. This article presents an investigation in to the feasibility of influencing albumin shelled microbubble properties through the variation of albumin availability during fabrication. Microbubbles were fabricated from albumin suspensions of varying concentration before thorough physical and acoustic characterization. Microbubbles with shells fabricated from a 2% albumin suspension had a greater scattering to attenuation ratio (STAR) than 10% albumin preparations (4.4% and 2.2%, respectively) and approximately double the nonlinear STAR (from 0.7% to 1.5%). The 2% microbubbles also exhibited greater (up to 40%), more violent radial oscillations during high speed imaging than 5% and 10% preparations. The results show that microbubble characteristics can be simply manipulated in the lab and indicate that for a given application this may provide the opportunity to further enhance favorable characteristics.

PMID: 22763010 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]