Ultrasonic Characteristics and Cellular Properties of Anabaena Gas Vesicles

Yaoheng Yang, Zhihai Qiu, Xuandi Hou, Lei Sun

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, biogenic gas vesicles (GVs), naturally formed by cyanobacteria and haloarchaea, have exhibited great potential as an ultrasound molecular imaging probe with a much smaller size (∼100 nm) and improved imaging contrast. However, the basic acoustic and biological properties of GVs remain unclear, which hinders future application. Here, we studied the fundamental acoustic properties of a rod-shaped gas vesicle from Anabaena, a kind of cyanobacterium, including attenuation, oscillation resonance, and scattering, as well as biological behaviors (cellular internalization and cytotoxicity). We found that GVs have two resonance peaks (85 and 120 MHz). We also observed a significant non-linear effect and its pressure dependence as well. Ultrasound B-mode imaging reveals sufficient echogenicity of GVs for ultrasound imaging enhancement at high frequencies. Biological characterization also reveals endocytosis and non-toxicity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2862-2870
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Acoustic characterization
  • Contrast agent
  • Gas vesicle
  • Molecular imaging
  • Nanobubble
  • Resonance frequency
  • Scattering property
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrasonic Characteristics and Cellular Properties of Anabaena Gas Vesicles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this