Novel preparation techniques for controlling microbubble uniformity: a comparison.
Stride E., Edirisinghe M.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the use of coated microbubbles as vehicles for ultrasound mediated targeted drug delivery. This application requires a high degree of control over the size and uniformity of microbubbles, in order to ensure accurate dosing of a given drug and to maximise delivery efficiency. Similarly, as more advanced imaging techniques are developed which exploit the complex nonlinear features of the microbubble signal and/or enable quantification of tissue perfusion, the ability to predetermine the acoustic response of a microbubble suspension is becoming increasingly important. Consequently, a number of new preparation technologies have been developed to meet the demand for improved control over microbubble characteristics. The aim of the work described in this paper was to compare a conventional microbubble preparation technique, sonication, with two more recent methods: coaxial electrohydrodynamic atomisation and microfluidic (T-junction) processing, in terms of their ability to produce bubbles which are sufficiently small and stable for in vivo use, microbubble uniformity, relative production rates and other practical and economic considerations.