Mechanisms for microvascular damage induced by ultrasound-activated microbubbles

Hong Chen, Andrew A. Brayman, Andrew P. Evan, Thomas J. Matula

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


To provide insight into the mechanisms of microvascular damage induced by ultrasound-activated microbubbles, experimental studies were performed to correlate microvascular damage to the dynamics of bubble-vessel interactions. High-speed photomicrography was used to record single microbubbles interacting with microvessels in ex vivo tissue, under the exposure of short ultrasound pulses with a center frequency of 1 MHz and peak negative pressures (PNP) ranging from 0.8-4 MPa. Vascular damage associated with observed bubble-vessel interactions was either indicated directly by microbubble extravasation or examined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analyses. As observed previously, the high-speed images revealed that ultrasound-activated microbubbles could cause distention and invagination of adjacent vessel walls, and could form liquid jets in microvessels. Vessel distention, invagination, and liquid jets were associated with the damage of microvessels whose diameters were smaller than those of maximally expanded microbubbles. However, vessel invagination appeared to be the dominant mechanism for the damage of relative large microvessels.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication11th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2012
Event11th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound, ISTU 2011 - New York, NY, United States
Duration: Apr 11 2011Apr 13 2011

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference11th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound, ISTU 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York, NY


  • Cavitation bioeffects
  • Extravasation
  • High speed photomicrography
  • Liquid jet
  • Microbubbles
  • Microvascular damage
  • Transmission electron microscopy
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound bioeffects


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