Microfluidic microbubbles as contrast agents
Microbubbles are used in cardiology to examine the functioning of the heart and, in oncology, for diagnosing the presence of tumors in the liver.They are employed when standard echography, performed without contrast agents, does not provide images of sufficient quality to perform a diagnostic In a near future, bubbles will be used for molecular diagnostics.
In the industry, microbubbles are produced with mixers and sorted. Their distributions are broad (typically factors of 1-4). In order to ensure stability, they are coated with PEG, phospholipids or both. For long term storage and commercialization, they are freeze-dried.
After hydratation, their sizes range between 1 and 4 µm, allowing them to circulate through the blood vessel network for a few minutes.
There exists important limitations of the existing products. In particular, it is impossible to perform quantitative measurements from the echo generated by the bubbles, because of the absence of size control of the bubble distribution.
Submicrometric bubbles are also extremely difficult to produce.
The goal of the project is to use monodisperse bubbles, of precisely controlled sizes, ascontrast agents.
The technology we will use to fabricate them is microfluidics. The advantages
we expect are a larger signal, and the possibility to obtain information of medical interest from the analysis of the echo.
The project is conducted in IPGG. It benefits from a collaboration with a startup, specialized in Ultra Sound Imaging, and Langevin Institute.
Contact : Patrick Tabeling
Mail : [email protected]
Location : MMN Lab, IPGG, 6 rue Jean Calvin, 75005 Paris
Duration : 1 year minimum