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Phys Med Biol. 2001 Dec;46(12):3301-21.

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

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Department of Medical Physics and Medical Engineering, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh, UK.


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 HD13000 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 (approximately 5 microm mean diameter) and (b) a suspension of Eccosphere (New Metals & Chemicals Ltd, Essex, UK) particles (approximately 50 microm 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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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