Polypyrrole-Coated Perfluorocarbon Nanoemulsions as a Sono-Photoacoustic Contrast Agent

Li, David S.; Yoon, Soon Joon; Pelivanov, Ivan; Frenz, Martin; O’Donnell, Matthew; Pozzo, Lilo D. (2017). Polypyrrole-Coated Perfluorocarbon Nanoemulsions as a Sono-Photoacoustic Contrast Agent. Nano letters, 17(10), pp. 6184-6194. American Chemical Society 10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b02845

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A new contrast agent for combined photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging is presented. It has a liquid perfluorocarbon (PFC) core of about 250 nm diameter coated by a 30 nm thin polypyrrole (PPy) doped polymer shell emulsion that represents a broadband absorber covering the visible and near-infrared ranges (peak optical extinction at 1050 nm). When exposed to a sufficiently high intensity optical or acoustic pulse, the droplets vaporize to form microbubbles providing a strong increase in imaging sensitivity and specificity. The threshold for contrast agent activation can further drastically be reduced by up to 2 orders of magnitude if simultaneously exposing them with optical and acoustic pulses. The selection of PFC core liquids with low boiling points (i.e., perfluorohexane (56 °C), perfluoropentane (29 °C), and perfluorobutane (−2 °C)) facilitates activation and reduces the activation threshold of PPy-coated emulsion contrast agents to levels well within clinical safety limits (as low as 0.2 MPa at 1 mJ/cm2). Finally, the potential use of these nanoemulsions as a contrast agent is demonstrated in a series of phantom imaging studies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics > Biomedical Photonics

UniBE Contributor:

Frenz, Martin


600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics




American Chemical Society




Simone Corry

Date Deposited:

13 Jun 2018 15:55

Last Modified:

03 Jun 2021 07:29

Publisher DOI:






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