Lipid Coated Microbubbles - Interview with Mitra Aliabouzer, GWU

Lipid Coated Microbubbles - Interview with Mitra Aliabouzer, GWU

What is the background of your research at GWU?

The focus of our lab is on fundamental as well as biomedical applications of microbubbles, liposomes, polymersomes and phase shift nanodroplets. We study the acoustic response as well as mechanical properties of microbubbles and phase shift nanodroplets with varying shell chemistries and sizes. They have potential use as a contrast enhancing agent for ultrasound imaging as well as a targeted drug delivery and therapeutic agent with or without assistance of low intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS).

 

Explain the need for accurate particle characterization and quantification in your research area.

Accurate size distribution plays a key role in our studies.  Modeling behavior of suspensions of microbubbles and comparing them with our experimental results need accurate size and number of particles.

-To be able to predict material properties of microbubble suspensions (surface dilatational and shear elasticity and viscosity), we perform attenuation studies using pulse echo technique. To estimate those properties, we match our experimental curves with theoretical models to characterize microbubbles with varying shell chemistries (lipid or protein encapsulations). Accurate size and numbers of particles in the solution is critical to the property estimation methodology.

- For tissue engineering applications, we treat human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) with low intensity ultrasound in the presence of lipid-coated microbubbles to enhance their proliferation and differentiation.  Once again knowing the size and concentration is critical for this application.

- For tissue engineering applications, we treat human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) with low intensity ultrasound in the presence of lipid-coated microbubbles to enhance their proliferation and differentiation.  Once again knowing the size and concentration is critical for this application.

How are you using the qNano Gold to help achieve this?

Our microbubbles and droplets have a broad polydisperse size distribution. We have particles from 200 nm to as large as 15 micrometers in our suspensions. Other techniques such as dynamic light scattering (DLS) do not work for this kind of measurement due to the inability to measure particle number or polydisperse size distributions. Having multiple nanopores with qNano, we could perform size distributions of our polydisperse suspensions. The wide range of particle size means the process is a bit more time consuming but provides the data we need.

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