An in vitro system for the study of ultrasound contrast agents using a commercial imaging system

V. Sboros, C. Moran, T. Anderson, L. Gatzoulis, A. Criton, M. Averkiou, S. Pye, N. McDicken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


An in vitro system for the investigation of the behaviour of contrast microbubbles in an ultrasound field, that provides a full diagnostic range of settings, is yet to be presented in the literature. The evaluation of a good compromise of such a system is presented in this paper. It is based on (a) an HDI3000 ATL scanner (Bothell, WA, USA) externally controlled by a PC and (b) on the use of well-defined reference materials. The suspensions of the reference ultrasonic scattering material are placed in an anechoic tank. The pulse length ranges from 2 to 10 cycles, the acoustic pressure from 0.08 to 1.8 MPa, the transmit frequency from 1 to 4.3 MHz, and the receive frequency from 1 to 8 MHz. The collection of 256 samples of RF data, at an offset distance from the transducer face, was performed at 20 MHz digitization rate, which corresponds to approximately 1 cm depth in water. Two particle suspensions are also presented for use as reference scatterers for contrast studies: (a) a suspension of Orgasol® (ELF Atochem, Paris, France) particles (~5 μm mean diameter) and (b) a suspension of Eccosphere® (New Metals & Chemicals Ltd, Essex, UK) particles (~50 μm mean diameter). A preliminary experiment with the contrast agent Definity (DuPont Pharmaceutical Co, Waltham, MA) showed that the above two materials are suitable for use as a reference for contrast backscatter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3301-3321
Number of pages20
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • ultrasound
  • imaging
  • in vitro system
  • physics
  • medicine


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