Temperature-dependent differences in the nonlinear acoustic behavior of ultrasound contrast agents revealed by high-speed imaging and bulk acoustics

Ultrasound Med Biol. 2011 Sep;37(9):1509-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2011.05.020. Epub 2011 Jul 8.


Previous work by the authors has established that increasing the temperature of the suspending liquid from 20°C to body temperature has a significant impact on the bulk acoustic properties and stability of an ultrasound contrast agent suspension (SonoVue, Bracco Suisse SA, Manno, Lugano, Switzerland). In this paper the influence of temperature on the nonlinear behavior of microbubbles is investigated, because this is one of the most important parameters in the context of diagnostic imaging. High-speed imaging showed that raising the temperature significantly influences the dynamic behavior of individual microbubbles. At body temperature, microbubbles exhibit greater radial excursion and oscillate less spherically, with a greater incidence of jetting and gas expulsion, and therefore collapse, than they do at room temperature. Bulk acoustics revealed an associated increase in the harmonic content of the scattered signals. These findings emphasize the importance of conducting laboratory studies at body temperature if the results are to be interpreted for in vivo applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics
  • Contrast Media / chemistry*
  • Drug Stability
  • Microbubbles*
  • Particle Size
  • Temperature*
  • Ultrasonics*


  • Contrast Media