Ultrasound Contrast Agent Modeling: A Review

Michel Versluis*, Eleanor Stride, Guillaume Lajoinie, Benjamin Dollet, Tim Segers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)
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Ultrasound is extensively used in medical imaging, being safe and inexpensive and operating in real time. Its scope of applications has been widely broadened by the use of ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) in the form of microscopic bubbles coated by a biocompatible shell. Their increased use has motivated a large amount of research to understand and characterize their physical properties as well as their interaction with the ultrasound field and their surrounding environment. Here we review the theoretical models that have been proposed to study and predict the behavior of UCAs. We begin with a brief introduction on the development of UCAs. We then present the basics of free-gas-bubble dynamics upon which UCA modeling is based. We review extensively the linear and non-linear models for shell elasticity and viscosity and present models for non-spherical and asymmetric bubble oscillations, especially in the presence of surrounding walls or tissue. Then, higher-order effects such as microstreaming, shedding and acoustic radiation forces are considered. We conclude this review with promising directions for the modeling and development of novel agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2117-2144
Number of pages28
JournalUltrasound in medicine and biology
Issue number9
Early online date13 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Modeling
  • Ultrasound contrast agents
  • Microbubble dynamics

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