Zhou Y, 2012: Reduction of bubble cavitation by modifying the diffraction wave from a lithotripter aperture
Division of Engineering Mechanics, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
PURPOSE: A new method was devised to suppress the bubble cavitation in the lithotripter focal zone to reduce the propensity of shockwave-induced renal injury.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An edge extender was designed and fabricated to fit on the outside of the ellipsoidal reflector of an electrohydraulic lithotripter to disturb the generation of diffraction wave at the aperture, but with little effect on the acoustic field inside the reflector.
RESULTS: Although the peak negative pressures at the lithotripter focus using the edge extender at 20 kV were similar to that of the original configuration (-11.1 ± 0.9 vs -10.6 ± 0.7 MPa), the duration of the tensile wave was shortened significantly (3.2 ± 0.54 vs 5.83 ± 0.56 μs, P<0.01). There is no difference, however, in both the amplitude and duration of the compressive shockwaves between these two configurations as well as the -6 dB beam width in the focal plane. The significant suppression effect of bubble cavitation was confirmed by the measured bubble collapse time using passive cavitation detection. At the lithotripter focus, while only about 30 shocks were needed to rupture a blood vessel phantom using the original HM-3 reflector at 20 kV, no damage could be produced after 300 shocks using the edge extender. Meanwhile, the original HM-3 lithotripter at 20 kV can achieve a stone comminution efficiency of 50.4 ± 2.0% on plaster-of-Paris stone phantom after 200 shocks, which is comparable to that of using the edge extender (46.8 ± 4.1%, P=0.005).
CONCLUSIONS: Modifying the diffraction wave at the lithotripter aperture can suppress the shockwave-induced bubble cavitation with significant reduced damage potential on the vessel phantom but satisfactory stone comminution ability.
J Endourol. 2012 Aug;26(8):1075-84. doi: 10.1089/end.2011.0671. Epub 2012 Mar 26
PMID: 22332839 [PubMed - in process]. FREE ARTICLE
Bubble cavitation was suppressed experimentally by adding a reflector edge extender to the original HM3 reflector. Thereby it was possible to reduce the duration of the bubble cavitation and the negative tensile forces. The technique was used to modify the diffraction wave and the consequence was that the risk of vessel damage was reduced while the disintegrating capacity was maintained. This observation is indeed highly interesting and if such a system can be incorporated in the therapy heads presently in use it means that the ESWL treatment can be carried out with a greater safety and diminished risk of tissue damage. How easily reflector edge extenders can be incorporated in modern lithotripters remains to be shown.
Nevertheless this article reports something new and clinically interesting.