Combined Confocal Microscope and Brandaris 128 Ultra-High-Speed Camera

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Controlling microbubble-mediated drug delivery requires the underlying biological and physical mechanisms to be unraveled. To image both microbubble oscillation upon ultrasound insonification and the resulting cellular response, we developed an optical imaging system that can achieve the necessary nanosecond temporal and nanometer spatial resolutions. We coupled the Brandaris 128 ultra-high-speed camera (up to 25 million frames per second) to a custom-built Nikon A1R+ confocal microscope. The unique capabilities of this combined system are demonstrated with three experiments showing microbubble oscillation leading to either endothelial drug delivery, bacterial biofilm disruption, or structural changes in the microbubble coating. In conclusion, using this state-of-the-art optical imaging system, microbubble-mediated drug delivery can be studied with high temporal resolution to resolve microbubble oscillation and high spatial resolution and detector sensitivity to discern cellular response. Combining these two imaging technologies will substantially advance our knowledge on microbubble behavior and its role in drug delivery.