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Phase-change contrast agents (PCCAs) consisting of lipid-encapsulated low-boiling-point perfluorocarbons can be used in conjunction with ultrasound for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. One benefit of PCCAs is site-specific activation, whereby the liquid core is acoustically vaporized into a bubble detectable via ultrasound imaging. For further evaluation of PCCAs in a variety of applications, it is useful to disperse these nanodroplets into an acoustically compatible stationary matrix. However, many traditional phantom preparations require heating, which causes premature thermal activation of low-boiling-point PCCAs. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) cryogels do not require heat to set. Here we propose a simple method for the incorporation of the low-boiling-point PCCAs using octafluoropropane (OFP) and decafluorobutane (DFB) into PVA cryogels for a variety of acoustic characterization applications. We determined the utility of the phantoms by activating droplets with a focused transducer, visualizing the lesions with ultrasound imaging. At 1 MHz, droplet activation was consistently observed at 2.0 and 4.0 MPa for OFP and DFB, respectively. Copyright © 2022 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Phillip G Durham, Jinwook Kim, Katherine M Eltz, Charles F Caskey, Paul A Dayton. Polyvinyl Alcohol Cryogels for Acoustic Characterization of Phase-Change Contrast Agents. Ultrasound in medicine & biology. 2022 May;48(5):954-960

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PMID: 35246338

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