In addition to improving image contrast, microbubbles have shown great potential in molecular imaging and drug/gene delivery. Previous work by the authors showed that considerable improvements in gene transfection efficiency were obtained using microbubbles loaded with magnetic nanoparticles under simultaneous exposure to ultrasound and magnetic fields. The aim of this study was to characterise the effect of nanoparticles on the dynamic and acoustic response of the microbubbles. High-speed video microscopy indicated that the amplitude of oscillation was very similar for magnetic and nonmagnetic microbubbles of the same size for the same ultrasound exposure (0.5 MHz, 100 kPa, 12-cycle pulse) and that this was minimally affected by an imposed magnetic field. The linear scattering to attenuation ratio (STAR) was also similar for suspensions of both bubble types although the nonlinear STAR was ~50% lower for the magnetic microbubbles. Both the video and acoustic data were supported by the results from theoretical modelling.
Copyright © 2012 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.