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Working Paper

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In ultrasound sonography, microbubbles are used as contrasting agents to improve the effectiveness of ultrasound imaging. Monodisperse microbubbles are required to achieve the optimal image quality. In order to achieve a uniform size distribution, microbubbles are stabilized with surfactant molecules. One such molecule is Oleosin, an amphiphilic structural protein found in vascular plant oil bodies that contains one hydrophobic and two hydrophilic sections. Controlling the functionalization of microbubbles is a comprehensive and versatile process using recombinant technology to produce a genetically engineered form of Oleosin called Oleosin 30G. With the control of a microfluidic device, uniformly-sized and resonant microbubbles can be readily produced and stored in stable conditions up to one month. Currently, Oleosin microbubbles are limited to the lab-scale; however, through development of an integrated batch bioprocessing model, the overall product yield of Oleosin 30G can be increased to 7.39 kg/year to meet needs on the industrial-scale. An Oleosin-stabilized microbubble suspension as a contrast agent is in a strong position to take a competitive share of the current market, capitalizing on needs unmet by current market leader, Definity®. Based on market dynamics and process logistics, scaled-up production of Oleosin 30G for use as a contrast agent is expected to be both a useful and profitable venture.



Date Posted: 03 May 2016