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An in vitro system for the study of ultrasound contrast agents using a commercial imaging system

Sboros, V. and Moran, C. and Anderson, T. and Gatzoulis, L. and Criton, A. and Averkiou, M. and Pye, S. and McDicken, N. (2001) An in vitro system for the study of ultrasound contrast agents using a commercial imaging system. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 46 (12). pp. 3301-3321. ISSN 0031-9155

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Abstract

An in vitro system for the investigation of the behaviour of contrast microbubbles in an ultrasound field, that provides a full diagnostic range of settings, is yet to be presented in the literature. The evaluation of a good compromise of such a system is presented in this paper. It is based on (a) an HDI3000 ATL scanner (Bothell, WA, USA) externally controlled by a PC and (b) on the use of well-defined reference materials. The suspensions of the reference ultrasonic scattering material are placed in an anechoic tank. The pulse length ranges from 2 to 10 cycles, the acoustic pressure from 0.08 to 1.8 MPa, the transmit frequency from 1 to 4.3 MHz, and the receive frequency from 1 to 8 MHz. The collection of 256 samples of RF data, at an offset distance from the transducer face, was performed at 20 MHz digitization rate, which corresponds to approximately 1 cm depth in water. Two particle suspensions are also presented for use as reference scatterers for contrast studies: (a) a suspension of Orgasol® (ELF Atochem, Paris, France) particles (~5 μm mean diameter) and (b) a suspension of Eccosphere® (New Metals & Chemicals Ltd, Essex, UK) particles (~50 μm mean diameter). A preliminary experiment with the contrast agent Definity (DuPont Pharmaceutical Co, Waltham, MA) showed that the above two materials are suitable for use as a reference for contrast backscatter.