Sonochemically produced fluorocarbon microspheres: A new class of magnetic resonance imaging agent

Andrew G. Webb, Mike Wong, Kenneth J. Kolbeck, Richard L. Magin, Kenneth S. Suslick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


With the intent of increasing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of fluorine magnetic resonance imaging and enabling new applications, we have developed a novel class of agents based on protein encapsulation of fluorocarbons. Microspheres formed by high-intensity ultrasound have a gaussian size distribution with an average diameter of 2.5 μm. As with conventional emulsions, these microspheres target the reticuloendothelial system. However, our sonochemically produced microspheres, because of a high encapsulation efficiency, show increases in the SNR of up to 300% compared to commercially available emulsions. We also demonstrate an increase in the circulation life-time of the microspheres within the bloodstream by more than 30-fold with a chemical modification of the outer surface of the microsphere. Finally, by encapsulating mixtures of fluorocarbons that undergo solid/ liquid phase transitions, we can map temperature in the reticuloendothelial system, with signal changes of approximately 20-fold over a 5°C range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-683
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Microspheres
  • Perfluorocarbons
  • Sonochemistry
  • Temperature mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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