Acoustical and optical tweezing of bubbles in a microchannel
Gas bubbles on the order of 1-10 μm in radius and stabilized by a coating of biological surfactant have found use as contrast agents for ultrasound imaging and, more recently, have shown a clear potential as targeted drug delivery vectors. The characterisation of the acoustic properties of these microbubbles is important in order to validate simulations and improve their design, thereby leading to safer, more clinically-effective and cost-effective medical products. In order to perform this characterization at the single bubble level, a system has been constructed based upon simultaneous use of optical and acoustic trapping (NPL sono-optical tweezers), with the former providing the reference force calibration and a finer manipulation than the latter.
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