"Compression-only" behavior: A second-order nonlinear response of ultrasound contrast agent microbubbles

J. Sijl, M.L.J. Overvelde, B. Dollet, V. Garbin, N. de Jong, D. Lohse, M. Versluis

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Oscillating phospholipid-coated ultrasound contrast agent microbubbles display a so-called “compression-only” behavior, where it is observed that the bubbles compress efficiently while their expansion is suppressed. Here, a theoretical understanding of the source of this nonlinear behavior is provided through a weakly nonlinear analysis of the shell buckling model proposed by Marmottant et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 118, 3499–3505 (2005)]. It is shown that the radial dynamics of the bubble can be considered as a superposition of a linear response at the fundamental driving frequency and a second-order nonlinear low-frequency response that describes the negative offset of the mean bubble radius. The analytical solution deduced from the weakly nonlinear analysis shows that the compression-only behavior results from a rapid change of the shell elasticity with bubble radius. In addition, the radial dynamics of single phospholipid-coated microbubbles was recorded as a function of both the amplitude and the frequency of the driving pressure pulse. The comparison between the experimental data and the theory shows that the magnitude of compression-only behavior is mainly determined by the initial phospholipids concentration on the bubble surface, which slightly varies from bubble to bubble
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1729-1739
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Nonlinear acoustics
  • Biomedical ultrasonics
  • Bubbles
  • Ultrasonic imaging
  • 2023 OA procedure


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