|Resonating Microbubbles for Medical Imaging|
The demand for affordable and effective healthcare is increasing throughout the world. A key tool to meet this challenge is the effective use of diagnostic imaging. The use of early stage and targeted imaging ensures a better diagnosis for the patient and lower long-term treatment costs for healthcare providers. To meet the demand for more accurate and efficient imaging diagnostics the use of contrast agents is common practice.Ultrasound contrast agents
Ultrasound contrast agents are minuscule microbubbles, smaller than a red blood cell, which can be safely injected into the patient’s bloodstream to enhance the contrast in ultrasound images. The key to this enhancement are microbubbles that are made to resonate by the high frequency sound wave of the ultrasound equipment. The difference in the acoustic response of the resonating microbubbles and the surrounding tissue ensures a higher contrast image. This allows physicians to obtain a clearer view of the structure of the organ such as the liver, kidney, heart as well as the peripheral vasculature.The size of each microbubble plays a crucial role, since resonance is only accomplished when the size precisely matches the operating frequency of the ultrasound equipment, something that is not currently commercially available. In fact, accurately defined microbubble sizes are necessary to maximise efficiency and obtain more information, which is need for the further development of ultrasound towards applications such as therapeutic imaging and targeted drug delivery.
|Wim van Hoeve, Tide Microfluidic|