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Sub-capillary sized microbubbles offer improved techniques for diagnosis and therapy of vascular related disease using ultrasound. Their physical interaction with ultrasound remains an active research field that aims to optimize techniques. The aim of this study is to investigate whether controlled microbubble disruption upon exposure to consecutive ultrasound exposures can be achieved. Single lipid-shelled microbubble scattered echoes have been measured in response to two consecutive imaging pulses, using a calibrated micro-acoustic system. The nonlinear evolution of microbubble echoes provides an exact signature above and below primary and secondary resonance, which has been identified using theoretical results based on the Mooney-Rivlin strain softening shell model. Decaying microbubbles follow an irreversible trajectory through the resonance peak, causing the evolution of specific microbubble spectral signatures. The characteristics of the microbubble motion causes varying amounts of shell material to be lost during microbubble decay. Incident ultrasound field parameters can thus accurately manipulate the regulated shedding of shell material, which has applications for both imaging applications and localized drug delivery strategies.

Original publication




Journal article


Phys med biol

Publication Date





589 - 599


Acoustics, Fluorocarbons, Microbubbles, Phospholipids