Laser-activated microparticles for multimodal imaging: ultrasound and photoacoustics

Mirjam Visscher, Guillaume Lajoinie, Emilie Blazejewski, Gert Veldhuis, Michel Versluis* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)


The increasing personalization of medical treatment demands refined imaging and increased monitoring capabilities, as well as an improved efficacy through targeted drug delivery. Such a transition in health care can be facilitated by the use of multimodal contrast agents. In this paper, we present a novel type of multimodal contrast agents, that enhances contrast both in ultrasound and in photoacoustic imaging, while at the same time being capable of triggered drug delivery. Upon pulsed laser irradiation, polymeric microparticles-containing a dye and an oil core-can create a cavitation bubble that subsequently emits a strong acoustic wave. We investigated different formulations of these particles, by changing the oil content, dye concentration and probing conditions using a combination of pulsed laser excitation and an ultrasound chirp. We demonstrated that capsules with a core containing a low boiling point oil give the highest photoacoustic and acoustic response. The laser activation threshold for this system is high in the visible range, but within the near infrared medical limits. The same system also produces a stable bubble. US scattering by these stable bubbles results in medically relevant frequencies, making the particles of interest for biomedical and pre-clinical imaging. Finally, the system has potential to carry a functional drug-load, and a route to these applications is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034001
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2019


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