Thrombosis, or malignant blood clotting, is associated with numerous cardiovascular diseases and cancers. A microbubble contrast agent is presented that produces ultrasound harmonic signal only when exposed to elevated thrombin levels. Initially silent microbubbles are activated in the presence of both thrombin-spiked and freshly clotting blood in three minutes with detection limits of 20 nM thrombin and 2 aM microbubbles.
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