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Honey, I shrunk the bubbles: microfluidic vacuum shrinkage of lipid-stabilized microbubbles

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Abstract

We present a microfluidic technique that shrinks lipid-stabilized microbubbles from O(100) to O(1) μm in diameter – the size that is desirable in applications as ultrasound contrast agents. We achieve microbubble shrinkage by utilizing vacuum channels that are adjacent to the microfluidic flow channels to extract air from the microbubbles. We tune a single parameter, the vacuum pressure, to accurately control the final microbubble size. Finally, we demonstrate that the resulting O(1) μm diameter microbubbles have similar stability to microfluidically generated microbubbles that are not exposed to vacuum shrinkage. We anticipate that, with additional scale-up, this simple approach to shrink microbubbles generated microfluidically will be desirable in ultrasound imaging and therapeutic applications.

Graphical abstract: Honey, I shrunk the bubbles: microfluidic vacuum shrinkage of lipid-stabilized microbubbles

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Jan 2017, accepted on 27 Mar 2017 and first published on 05 Apr 2017


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00128B
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article
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    Honey, I shrunk the bubbles: microfluidic vacuum shrinkage of lipid-stabilized microbubbles

    V. Gnyawali, B. Moon, J. Kieda, R. Karshafian, M. C. Kolios and S. S. H. Tsai, Soft Matter, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SM00128B

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