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Title: High-speed imaging of holographically trapped microbubble ensembles stimulated by clinically relevant pulsed ultrasound
Author: Conneely, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 6694
Awarding Body: University of Dundee
Current Institution: University of Dundee
Date of Award: 2014
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The development of ultrasound contrast agents, or microbubbles, over the past 40 years has increased the possibilities for diagnostic imaging, although, more recently they have been proposed as a new vehicle for delivery of drugs and genes. However, there yet remains a considerable lack of fundamental understanding of microbubble behaviour under ultrasound excitation which has restricted their translation to therapeutic use. This project focussed on three key areas relating to the generation, observation, and bioeffects of microbubbles and the ultrasound used in their excitation. The experimental endeavour involved first, a full characterisation of the performance of a rotating mirror high-speed camera (Cordin 550-62) that was previously used by our group [and others] to investigate microbubble dynamics. Specifically, the investigation begins with an assessment of the frame-rate reporting accuracy of the system, a key aspect to the robustness of quantitative measurements extracted from recorded image sequences. This is then followed by the demonstration of a novel method of analysis for examining the image formation process in this type of camera, which facilitates a sensor-by-sensor assessment of performance that was not previously realised. Consolidating with previous work from within the group, this new analysis method was used to clarify previous data, and in the process suggested the presence of a temporal anomaly embedded within recorded images. In addition, the analysis also revealed empirical evidence for the mechanisms leading to this anomaly. Following on, a holographic optical tweezer system was developed for the purpose of exercising precise spatial control over microbubbles within their experimental environment. By positioning microbubbles in specific arrangements, interesting behaviours that were not previously achieved experimentally in the context of shelled microbubbles, were observed. Furthermore, by careful positioning of microbubbles within the imaging plane, it was possible to exploit the temporal anomaly present in the camera to greatly improve the integrity of data recorded, and to also operate in an enhanced imaging mode. Group aspirations to accelerate the development of therapeutic microbubbles had previously generated some early work on the in-house generation of bespoke bubble populations using microfluidic lab-on-a-chip techniques. In order to facilitate further development in this area, a finite-element computational model was herein developed to aid next generation chip design. Finally, in a slightly different context, considering not only the mechanical effect a microbubble may effect in a therapeutic treatment, a single biological cell assay was developed in order to probe any mechanical effects that were induced by the excitation ultrasound itself. Capitalising on the precise force control possible with atomic force spectroscopy, the elastic moduli of cells pre- and post-ultrasound insonation (sans microbubbles) were recorded. These new developments have extended the group capability and expertise in the areas of high-speed imaging, experimental observations of microbubble dynamics and with microfluidic generation of microbubbles. Additionally, the insights garnered have both served to consolidate the group's previous and as yet unpublished data, opening the way for circulation with absolute confidence in the integrity of that data.
Supervisor: Campbell, Paul ; McGloin, David Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ultrasound ; Microbubble ; Optical tweezer ; Optical trapping ; Atomic force microscopy ; Afm ; High-speed imaging