Monodisperse Versus Polydisperse Ultrasound Contrast Agents: Non-Linear Response, Sensitivity, and Deep Tissue Imaging Potential

Tim Segers* (Corresponding Author), Pieter Kruizinga, Maarten P. Kok, Guillaume Lajoinie, Nico de Jong, Michel Versluis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)
234 Downloads (Pure)


It has been proposed that monodisperse microbubble ultrasound contrast agents further increase the signal-to-noise ratio of contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging. Here, the sensitivity of a polydisperse pre-clinical agent was compared experimentally with that of its size- and acoustically sorted derivatives by using narrowband pressure- and frequency-dependent scattering and attenuation measurements. The sorted monodisperse agents had up to a two-orders-of-magnitude increase in sensitivity, that is, in the average scattering cross section per bubble. Moreover, we found, for the first time, that the highly non-linear response of acoustically sorted microbubbles can be exploited to confine scattering and attenuation to the focal region of ultrasound fields used in clinical imaging. This property is a result of minimal pre-focal scattering and attenuation and can be used to minimize shadowing effects in deep tissue imaging. Moreover, it potentially allows for more localized therapy using microbubbles through the spatial control of resonant microbubble oscillations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1482-1492
Number of pages11
JournalUltrasound in medicine and biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Non-linear echo
  • Ultrasound contrast agents
  • Monodisperse bubbles

Cite this