Nonspherical oscilllations of ultrasound contrast agent microbubbles

B. Dollet, S.M. van der Meer, V. Garbin, N. de Jong, D. Lohse, M. Versluis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


The occurrence of nonspherical oscillations (or surface modes) of coated microbubbles, used as ultrasound contrast agents in medical imaging, is investigated using ultra–high-speed optical imaging. Optical tweezers designed to micromanipulate single bubbles in 3-D are used to trap the bubbles far from any boundary, enabling a controlled study of the nonspherical oscillations of free-floating bubbles. Nonspherical oscillations appear as a parametric instability and display subharmonic behavior: they oscillate at half the forcing frequency, which was fixed at 1.7 MHz in this study. Surface modes are shown to preferentially develop for a bubble radius near the resonance of radial oscillations. In the studied range of acoustic pressures, the growth of surface modes saturates at a level far below bubble breakage. With the definition of a single, dimensionless deformation parameter, the amplitude of nonspherical deformation is quantified as a function of the bubble radius (between 1.5 and 5 μm) and of the acoustic pressure (up to 200 kPa).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1465-1473
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in medicine and biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • High-speed imaging
  • Ultrasound contrast agents
  • Subharmonics
  • Nonspherical oscillations
  • 2023 OA procedure


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonspherical oscilllations of ultrasound contrast agent microbubbles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this