The influence of gas saturation on microbubble stability.
Mulvana H., Stride E., Tang M-X., Hajnal JV., Eckersley RJ.
Accurate acoustic characterisation is an essential component of any experimental investigation concerning the use and development of microbubble contrast agents. It is of increasing importance as applications such as therapy and molecular and quantitative imaging are investigated. Such characterisation is generally conducted in the laboratory in the form of bulk acoustic studies or optical observation of single bubbles using high speed photography in a water tank containing "out-gassed" water. The approach is widely used in acoustics to prevent inaccurate measurements being made due to the presence of gas bubbles settling on instrumentation, however, the term is often used to cover a range of water preparation techniques and the final gas content of the water is not usually stated. This technical note demonstrates the influence of gas content on the stability of microbubble contrast agents and concludes that characterisation should always be conducted in equilibrated, gas-saturated water to ensure accurate and repeatable measurements are made.