Ultrasound contrast agents are encapsulated microbubbles whose nonlinear acoustic scattering signatures have been the foundation of their use in diagnostic imaging. The coupled oscillations of microbubbles along their lines of center are investigated theoretically using radial equations in the monopole approximation and an energy balance, which is obtained for the system. Coupled microbubble pairs of different initial radii are investigated numerically relative to the normal modes for the linearized system. For microbubble pairs of different size bubbles driven below the mode of the smaller bubble and above the mode of the larger bubble, it is shown that oscillations of the smaller agent are affected substantially more by the coupling than those of the larger one. For separation distances of 10 and 500 microns, a difference of approximately 10 dB occurs in the second harmonic output of a 1.0-micron radius agent coupled with a 2.2-micron radius agent forced at 2.0 MHz and 0.3 MPa. The subharmonic spectral peak is shown to decrease approximately 19 dB for the coupling of 1.5- and 2.2-micron radius agents at 10- and 500-micron distances under the same acoustic forcing conditions. These coupling effects on the radiated pressure and its spectral power are highlighted for contrast agent imaging applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics