One of the main topics of the chair is imaging techniques that are able to visualize molecular processes at the cellular level (molecular imaging).

Here, the acoustic quantification of ultrasound contrast agents plays a major role. Ultrasound contrast agents currently generally consist of nanoshell-stabilized gas bubbles (microbubbles) that are only a few micrometers in diameter.

The destruction of microbubbles causes characteristic signals in ultrasound Doppler images. The disappearance of a gas bubble creates a difference in the echo of two successively transmitted pulses. This is interpreted as movement in the Doppler mode and thus displayed in color. Even the destruction of individual microbubbles is sufficient to be imaged. Depending on the contrast agent concentration, individual destruction events are thus discernible, enabling precise quantification.

Doppler image of cyanoacrylate microbubbles (Vevo770 40 MHz scanhead). The individual microbubbles cause small areas of large intensity in the Doppler image.

Contacts: Stefanie Dencks and Georg Schmitz

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