Super-resolution ultrasound imaging

The resolution of ultrasound imaging is typically determined by the wavelength of sound. We are circumventing this limitation with a new class of phase change nanoparticle contrast agents, called laser-activated nanodetectors (LANDs). These contrast agents, which consist of a liquid perfluorocarbon core and encapsulated dye, undergo vaporization upon exposure to pulsed laser irradiation. Several milliseconds later, the LANDs recondense back to their stable liquid state. While in their gaseous state, the LANDs provide high contrast in ultrasound images. The end result is a triggerable "blinking" contrast agent. We are currently developing algorithms to harness the blinking to improve the resolution of the imaging system as well as probe the tissue properties.

Faculty contact: Geoffrey P. Luke