What are microbubbles made of?

October 2016


When we are out talking about Akadeum’s cell separation microbubbles, we come across a lot of people that think the microbubbles are purely made of a gas. While this is the common type of bubble that many of us are most familiar with, it is not the type of bubble used in separating cells.

Glass Shells with a Gaseous Core

Akadeum’s microbubbles are made of thin shells of glass with a gaseous core. Microbubbles exist in many different sizes and material compositions. However, Akadeum currently uses glass-shelled microbubbles for a couple of reasons:

  • They have the right density (around 0.6 g/cm3). With this density, it allows the microbubbles to have a sufficient lifting force to lift several cells and to act as an effective cell separation method.
  • Glass provides a stable structure so that microbubbles do not easily pop.

The glass shell thickness is approximately 0.7 μm thick, while the microbubbles have an average diameter of 16–18 μm and are polydisperse.