Advances in molecular biology and cellular biochemistry are providing new opportunities for diagnostic medical imaging to "see" beyond the anatomical manifestations of disease to the earliest biochemical signatures of disease. Liquid perfluorocarbon nanoparticles provide inherent acoustic contrast when bound to targets, e.g., fibrin deposits in a thrombus, but unbound nanoparticles are undetectable. This nanoparticle platform may be further functionalized with paramagnetic metals, such as gadolinium, or radionuclides, with homing ligands, like anti-α vβ 3-integrins, and therapeutic agents. Acoustic imaging of densely distributed biomarkers, e.g., fibrin epitopes, is readily accommodated with fundamental imaging, but for sparse biomarkers, e.g., integrins, we have developed and implemented novel, nonlinear imaging techniques based upon information-theoretic receivers (i.e., thermodynamic receivers). These novel receivers allow sensitive direct imaging of contrast development.