Microbubbles are considered a promising tool for noninvasive estimation of local blood pressure. It is reported that the subharmonic scattering amplitude of microbubbles decreases by 9 to 12 dB when immersed in the media under an ambient pressure variation from 0 to 180 mmHg. However, the pressure sensitivity still needs to be improved to satisfy clinical diagnostic requirements. Here, we investigated the effects of acoustic parameters on the pressure sensitivity of microbubbles through measuring the acoustic attenuation and scattering properties of commercially available SonoVue microbubbles. Our results showed that the first harmonic, subharmonic, and ultraharmonic amplitudes of microbubbles were reduced by 6.6 dB, 10.9 dB, and 9.3 dB at 0.225 mechanical index (MI), 4.6 dB, 19.8 dB, and 12.3 dB at 0.25 MI, and 18.5 dB, 17.6 dB, and 12.6 dB at 0.3 MI, respectively, when the ambient pressure increased from 0 to 180 mmHg. Our finding revealed that a moderate MI (0.25–0.4) exciting microbubbles could significantly improve their sensitivities to detect ambient pressure.
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