Nanobubbles (NBs) are of high interest for ultrasound (US) imaging as contrast agents and therapy as cavitation nuclei. Because of their instability (Laplace pressure bubble catastrophe) and low sensitivity to US, reducing the size of commonly used microbubbles to submicron-size is not trivial. We introduce stabilized NBs in the 100-250-nm size range, manufactured by agitating human serum albumin and perfluoro-propane. These NBs were exposed to 3.34- and 5.39-MHz US, and their sensitivity to US was proven by detecting inertial cavitation. The cavitation-threshold information was used to run a numerical parametric study based on a modified Rayleigh-Plesset equation (with a Newtonian rheology model). The determined values of surface tension ranged from 0 N/m to 0.06 N/m. The corresponding values of dilatational viscosity ranged from 5.10-10 Ns/m to 1.10-9 Ns/m. These parameters were reported to be 0.6 N/m and 1.10-8 Ns/m for the reference microbubble contrast agent. This result suggests the possibility of using albumin as a stabilizer for the nanobubbles that could be maintained in circulation and presenting satisfying US sensitivity, even in the 3-5-MHz range.
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