Ultrafast Background-Free Ultrasound Imaging Using Blinking Nanoparticles

Sinan Sabuncu, Ruth Javier Ramirez, Jared M. Fischer, Fehmi Civitci, Adem Yildirim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Localization-based ultrasound imaging methods that use microbubbles or nanodroplets offer high-resolution imaging with improved sensitivity and reduced background signal. However, these methods require long acquisition times (typically seconds to minutes), preventing their use for real-time imaging and, thus, limiting their clinical translational potential. Here, we present a new ultrafast localization method using blinking ultrasound-responsive nanoparticles (BNPs). When activated with high frame rate (1 kHz) plane wave ultrasound pulses with a mechanical index of 1.5, the BNPs incept growth of micrometer-sized bubbles, which in turn collapse and generate a blinking ultrasound signal. We showed that background-free ultrasound images could be obtained by localizing these blinking events using acquisition times as low as 11 ms. In addition, we demonstrated that BNPs enable in vivo background-free ultrasound imaging in mice. We envision that BNPs will facilitate the clinical translation of localization-based ultrasound imaging for more sensitive detection of cancer and other diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-666
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 25 2023


  • cavitation
  • high frame rate imaging
  • localization-based ultrasound imaging
  • mesoporous silica nanoparticles
  • ultrasound contrast agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrafast Background-Free Ultrasound Imaging Using Blinking Nanoparticles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this