Dynamic manipulation of the subharmonic scattering of phospholipid-coated microbubbles

T Faez, G Renaud, M Defontaine, S Calle, Nico Jong

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In this paper, the influence of a dynamic variation in the ambient pressure on the subharmonic response of phospholipid-coated microbubbles was investigated. The ambient pressure in water was modulated by a 2.5 kHz acoustic wave with a peak amplitude of 15 kPa. We investigated the fundamental and subharmonic emissions at two driving frequencies: 5 and 10 MHz. The modulation of the bubble radius induced by the dynamic variation in the liquid ambient pressure subsequently causes modulations of the scattered acoustic pressure at the fundamental and subharmonic frequencies (half the fundamental frequency). As a first result, we measured that the variation in the ambient pressure of 15 kPa can modulate the subharmonic amplitude up to 10 dB as compared to the static atmospheric pressure condition. As a second result, we noticed that the relative subharmonic amplitude modulation as a function of the LF acoustic pressure was symmetrical for the 5 MHz driving frequency but asymmetric for 10 MHz. In the latter case, the subharmonic amplitude was more enhanced for an ambient overpressure than reduced for an ambient depression of the same amplitude likely due to the buckling of the lipid shell. However, the fundamental amplitude was symmetrically modulated during bubble compression and expansion. Moreover, subharmonic and fundamental amplitude modulations were found to be either in phase or out of phase with the low-frequency acoustic pressure. Numerical simulations showed that this behavior can be obtained depending on the bubbles' diameter. The highest subharmonic amplitude was measured when microbubbles were insonified at 10 MHz. This fact together with the asymmetry observed in the subharmonic modulation suggests that smaller bubbles with a buckling shell are excited at 10 MHz compared to 5 MHz. These results present new potentials for in vitro characterization of contrast agent microbubbles and possibly a new imaging modality.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)6459-6473
Number of pages15
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Research programs

  • EMC COEUR-09

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