Bubble Behavior Testing (BBT) System for Ultrasound Contrast Agent Characterization
The acoustic characterization of Ultrasound Contrast Agents (UCA) can only be based on equipment having high sensitivity (to be able to detect the echoes produced by single microbubbles) and flexibility (to adapt to a variety of experimental conditions). In this chapter, the Bubble Behavior Testing (BBT) system is presented, and shown as an ideal tool to report on the behavior of UCA in ultrasound fields. First, its basic configuration is described (including the front-end circuits to-from two single-element transducers as well as the digital resources for transmission of arbitrary signals and processing of received echoes). Two applications of the BBT system are then discussed. The interrogation of microbubbles freely floating in a water tank, is shown to be useful to characterize the UCA by observing their response to ultrasound force. Coupling of the BBT system to a synchronized high-speed optical camera is finally demonstrated to be capable of tracking the echoes of a single deflating bubble, i.e. with variable diameter.
KeywordsField Programmable Gate Array Radiation Force Ultrasound Contrast Agent Harmonic Amplitude Single Bubble
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