Special Collection: Molecular Imaging
- Quantitative contrast-enhanced ultrasound plays an important role in tumor characterization and treatment assessment. Besides established functional ultrasound techniques, ultrasound molecular imaging using microbubbles targeted to disease-associated markers is increasingly being applied in pre-clinical studies. Often, repeated injections of non-targeted or targeted microbubbles during the same imaging session are administered. However, the influence of repeated injections on the accuracy of the quantitative data is unclear.
- This work describes an in vivo study analyzing the effect of acoustic radiation force (ARF) on the binding of BR55 VEGFR2-specific contrast-agent microbubbles in a model of prostatic adenocarcinoma in rat. A commercial ultrasound system was modified by implementing high duty-cycle 3.5-MHz center frequency ARF bursts in a scanning configuration. This enabled comparing the effects of ARF on binding in tumor and healthy tissue effectively in the same field of view. Bubble binding was established by measuring late-phase enhancement in amplitude modulation (AM) contrast-specific imaging mode (4 MHz, 150 kPa) 10 min after agent injection when the unbound bubbles were cleared from the circulation.