Evaluation of synthetic phospholipid ultrasound contrast agents.
The echogenic properties of synthetic, phospholipid encapsulated, air-filled microbubbles with various carbon-chain length as ultrasound contrast agents are investigated through the use of a flow-through laboratory ultrasound system. Specifically, we investigate the effect of shell carbon-chain length on the ultrasonic signal for a variety of flow rates. Averaged, integrated backscatter power measurements from the lipid encapsulated agents are benchmarked against those of Albunex (Albunex is a registered trademark of Molecular Biosystems, Inc., San Diego, CA), a commercially available, air-filled protein microbubbles contrast agent, approved for clinical use in echocardiography in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. We find that the lipid encapsulated agents sustain less damage leading to gas dissolution or particle destruction as compared to Albunex in the slow-flow studies performed. The carbon-chain length of the encapsulating lipid molecule is shown not to observably affect the backscattered amplitude of ultrasound at flow velocities exceeding 7 mm/s.
Hasik, MJ; Kim, DH; Howle, LE; Needham, D; Prush, DP
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