Microbubbles for medical applications

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasound contrast agent (UCA) suspensions contain encapsulated microbubbles with radii ranging from 1 to 10 micrometers. The bubbles oscillate to the driving ultrasound pulse generating harmonics of the driving ultrasound frequency. This feature allows for the discrimination of non-linear bubble echoes from linear tissue echoes facilitating the visualization and quantification of blood perfusion in organs. Targeting the microbubbles to specific receptors in the body has led to molecular imaging application with ultrasound and targeted drug delivery with drug-loaded microbubbles. Traditional UCA production methods offer high yield but poor control over the microbubble size and uniformity. Medical ultrasound transducers typically operate at a single frequency, therefore only a small selection of bubbles resonates to the driving ultrasound pulse. Here we discuss recent lab-on-a-chip based production and sorting methods that have been shown to produce highly monodisperse bubbles, thereby improving the sensitivity of contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging and molecular imaging with microbubbles. Moreover, monodisperse UCA show great potential for targeted drug delivery by the well-controlled bubble response.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrofluidics for Medical applications
EditorsA. van den Berg, L. Segerink
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
ISBN (Print)978-1-84973-637-4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameRSC Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
PublisherThe Royal Society of Chemistry


  • METIS-311447
  • IR-97488

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