Ultrasound imaging is based on the transmission of ultrasound waves through tissues and the detection of reflections from structures in the acoustical pathway. Its greatest application by far is measuring blood flow and assessing cardiac function and fetal development.

With the development of new transducers (5-30 MHz), high-resolution imaging of tumor development has been possible using preclinical systems. In addition, new applications in gene and drug delivery research are now being conducted thanks to the advent of ultrasound microbubble contrast agents.