Ultrasound imaging is a well-established clinical imaging technique that provides real-time, quantitative anatomical and physiological information about the human body. It uses high-frequency sound waves to look inside the body, and as ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can also show the movement of the body’s internal organs and blood flow through blood vessels.

Unlike X-ray imaging, there is no ionizing radiation exposure with ultrasound imaging. And the lack of ionizing radiation and relatively low acquisition and maintenance costs have made it one of the most commonly used clinical imaging techniques and is increasingly used to guide interventional clinical procedures.

Ultrasound contrast agents?

Ultrasound imaging has been used for more than 20 years. Ultrasound contrast agents composed of micro-bubble filled with gas are introduced to increase the backscattered power from blood. Their intravenously injection results in the improved contrast in the images.

Ultrasound contrast agents are mostly micro-bubbles coated with thin shells since the high compressibility of the bubbles results in efficient scattering of ultrasound. The application of the ultrasound contrast agents is determined by the physical properties of the coated micro-bubbles. The application of free gas bubbles as earliest contrast agents focused on the heart investigation.

Ideal ultrasound contrast agents?

Over the past years, many attempts have been made to establish effective ultrasound contrast agents for cardiac and non-cardiac applications. The ideal ultrasound contrast agent should be: (a) non-toxic; (b) intravenously administered; (c) able to circulate through the lungs, heart and capillaries; (d) stable recirculation.

A variety of potential ultrasound contrast agents have been or are under development. Current and future ultrasound contrast agents should improve the diagnostic capabilities of various normal and abnormal blood vessels and organs throughout the body. These drugs will enhance tumor vascularity, delineate ischemic areas, and improve visualization of vascular stenosis. Future developments in improved ultrasound equipment should increase the ability of these drugs to improve imaging and Doppler sensitivity.

Custom ultrasound imaging contrast agents?

Microbubble-based ultrasound contrast agents have been widely used in clinical diagnosis. However, their large particle size and structural instability limit their application in blood pool imaging, rather than tissue penetration imaging. Inorganic nanoparticles provide better ultrasound imaging resolution due to the large difference in acoustic impedance between solid phase and soft tissue. In addition, nanoparticles are small in size and rigid in structure, and have the potential as a new generation of ultrasound contrast agents.

With years of expertise in diagnostic and imaging contrast agent development, experienced scientists at CD Bioparticles can construct microbubble and inorganic nanoparticle-based contrast agents tailored for ultrasound imaging. CD Bioparticles also offers nanoparticle conjugation services to manufacture multifunctional contrast agents for target-specific imaging, multimodal imaging, and simultaneous diagnosis and therapy for your unique needs. Any of your ultrasound imaging needs can be fulfilled at CD Bioparticles.

References
1. Moran, C. M., & Thomson, A. J. (2020). Preclinical ultrasound imaging—A review of techniques and imaging applications. Frontiers in Physics, 8, 124.
2. Zheng, M. (2011). Ultrasound contrast agents: fabrication, size distribution and visualization.
3. Goldberg, B. B., Liu, J. B., & Forsberg, F. (1994). Ultrasound contrast agents: a review. Ultrasound in medicine & biology, 20(4), 319-333.

Author's Bio: 

CD Bioparticles is a leading manufacturer and supplier of various nanoparticles, microparticles and their coatings for R&D and commercialization in a wide variety of application areas including in-vitro diagnostics, biochemistry, cellular analysis, cell separation, immunoassay.