Decafluorobutane as a Phase-Change Contrast Agent for Low-Energy Extravascular Ultrasonic Imaging

Paul S. Sheeran, Vincent P. Wong, Samantha Luois, Ryan J. McFarland, William D. Ross, Steven Feingold, Terry O. Matsunaga, Paul A. Dayton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations


Currently available microbubbles used for ultrasound imaging and therapeutics are limited to intravascular space due to their size distribution in the micron range. Phase-change contrast agents (PCCAs) have been proposed as a means to overcome this limitation, since droplets formed in the hundred nanometer size range might be able to extravasate through leaky microvasculature, after which they could be activated to form larger highly echogenic microbubbles. Existing PCCAs in the sub-micron size range require substantial acoustic energy to be vaporized, increasing the likelihood of unwanted bioeffects. Thus, there exists a need for PCCAs with reduced acoustic activation energies for use in imaging studies. In this article, it is shown that decafluorobutane, which is normally a gas at room temperature, can be incorporated into metastable liquid sub-micron droplets with appropriate encapsulation methods. The resulting droplets are activatable with substantially less energy than other favored PCCA compounds. Decafluorobutane nanodroplets may present a new means to safely extend ultrasound imaging beyond the vascular space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1518-1530
Number of pages13
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Acoustic droplet vaporization
  • Contrast agent
  • Microbubble
  • Perfluorocarbon
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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