Microbubbles are used as ultrasonic contrast agents in medical imaging because of their highly efficient scattering properties. Gold nanoparticles absorb specific wavelengths of optical radiation very effectively with the subsequent generation of thermo-acoustic waves in the surrounding medium. A theoretical and numerical analysis of the possibility of inducing radial oscillations in a pre-existing spherical microbubble, through the laser excitation of gold nanoparticles contained within, is presented. A description of such a system can be obtained in terms of a confined two-phase model, with the nanoparticles suspended in a confined region of gas, surrounded by a liquid. The Rayleigh-Plesset equation is assumed to be valid at the boundary between the gas and the liquid. The confined two-phase model is solved in linear approximation. The system is diagonalized and the general solution is obtained. This solution is in the form of exponentially decaying oscillatory functions for the temperature and pressure inside the bubble, and radial oscillations of the bubble boundary. It was found that, for the right size of bubbles, the oscillatory behavior takes place in the low megahertz range, which is ideal for medical applications. This study suggests the possibility of new applications of microbubbles in photoacoustic imaging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics