[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of an imaging technique is often based on the ability to image quantitatively both morphological and physiological functions of the tissue. Here we present several ultrasound-based imaging techniques capable of visualizing both structural and functional properties of living tissue. Each imaging system utilizes custom-made, targeted nanoparticles developed to probe specific molecular events. Therefore, images of these nanoparticles display molecular processes in the body. Furthermore, the developed nanoparticle contrast agents can also be used for image-guided molecular therapy. For each imaging system, the basic physics and principles behind each approach are described. Experimental aspects of each imaging system including fabrication of integrated imaging probes and associated imaging hardware, and design of targeted contrast agents are discussed. Finally, biomedical and clinical applications of the developed imaging approaches ranging from microscopic to macroscopic imaging of cardiovascular diseases, cancer detection, diagnosis, therapy and therapy monitoring are demonstrated and discussed.