Cavitation clouds created by shock scattering from bubbles during histotripsy.
ABSTRACT: Histotripsy is a therapy that focuses short-duration, high-amplitude pulses of ultrasound to incite a localized cavitation cloud that mechanically breaks down tissue. To investigate the mechanism of cloud formation, high-speed photography was used to observe clouds generated during single histotripsy pulses. Pulses of 5-20 cycles duration were applied to a transparent tissue phantom by a 1-MHz spherically focused transducer. Clouds initiated from single cavitation bubbles that formed during the initial cycles of the pulse, and grew along the acoustic axis opposite the propagation direction. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that clouds form as a result of large negative pressure generated by the backscattering of shockwaves from a single bubble. The positive-pressure phase of the wave inverts upon scattering and superimposes on the incident negative-pressure phase to create this negative pressure and cavitation. The process repeats with each cycle of the incident wave, and the bubble cloud elongates toward the transducer. Finite-amplitude propagation distorts the incident wave such that the peak-positive pressure is much greater than the peak-negative pressure, which exaggerates the effect. The hypothesis was tested with two modified incident waves that maintained negative pressure but reduced the positive pressure amplitude. These waves suppressed cloud formation which supported the hypothesis.
Project description:Boiling histotripsy is a High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) technique which uses a number of short pulses with high acoustic pressures at the HIFU focus to induce mechanical tissue fractionation. In boiling histotripsy, two different types of acoustic cavitation contribute towards mechanical tissue destruction: a boiling vapour bubble and cavitation clouds. An understanding of the mechanisms underpinning these phenomena and their dynamics is therefore paramount to predicting and controlling the overall size of a lesion produced for a given boiling histotripsy exposure condition. A number of studies have shown the effects of shockwave heating in generating a boiling bubble at the HIFU focus and have studied its dynamics under boiling histotripsy insonation. However, not much is known about the subsequent production of cavitation clouds that form between the HIFU transducer and the boiling bubble. The main objective of the present study is to examine what causes this bubble cluster formation after the generation of a boiling vapour bubble. A numerical simulation of 2D nonlinear wave propagation with the presence of a bubble at the focus of a HIFU field was performed using the k-Wave MATLAB toolbox for time domain ultrasound simulations, which numerically solves the generalised Westervelt equation. The numerical results clearly demonstrate the appearance of the constructive interference of a backscattered shockwave by a bubble with incoming incident shockwaves. This interaction (i.e., the reflected and inverted peak positive phase from the bubble with the incoming incident rarefactional phase) can eventually induce a greater peak negative pressure field compared to that without the bubble at the HIFU focus. In addition, the backscattered peak negative pressure magnitude gradually increased from 17.4 MPa to 31.6 MPa when increasing the bubble size from 0.2 mm to 1.5 mm. The latter value is above the intrinsic cavitation threshold of -28 MPa in soft tissue. Our results suggest that the formation of a cavitation cloud in boiling histotripsy is a threshold effect which primarily depends (a) the size and location of a boiling bubble, and (b) the sum of the incident field and that scattered by a bubble.
Project description:Histotripsy produces tissue fractionation through dense energetic bubble clouds generated by short, high-pressure, ultrasound pulses. Conventional histotripsy treatments have used longer pulses from 3 to 10 cycles, wherein the lesion-producing bubble cloud generation depends on the pressure-release scattering of very high peak positive shock fronts from previously initiated, sparsely distributed bubbles (the shock-scattering mechanism). In our recent work, the peak negative pressure (P-) for generation of dense bubble clouds directly by a single negative half cycle, the intrinsic threshold, was measured. In this paper, the dense bubble clouds and resulting lesions (in red blood cell phantoms and canine tissues) generated by these supra-intrinsic threshold pulses were studied. A 32-element, PZT-8, 500-kHz therapy transducer was used to generate very short (<2 cycles) histotripsy pulses at a pulse repetition frequency (PRF) of 1 Hz and P- from 24.5 to 80.7 MPa. The results showed that the spatial extent of the histotripsy-induced lesions increased as the applied P- increased, and the sizes of these lesions corresponded well to the estimates of the focal regions above the intrinsic cavitation threshold, at least in the lower pressure regime (P- = 26 to 35 MPa). The average sizes for the smallest reproducible lesions were approximately 0.9 × 1.7 mm (lateral × axial), significantly smaller than the -6-dB beamwidth of the transducer (1.8 × 4.0 mm). These results suggest that, using the intrinsic threshold mechanism, well-confined and microscopic lesions can be precisely generated and their spatial extent can be estimated based on the fraction of the focal region exceeding the intrinsic cavitation threshold. Because the supra-threshold portion of the negative half cycle can be precisely controlled, lesions considerably less than a wavelength are easily produced, hence the term microtripsy.
Project description:Histotripsy utilizes focused ultrasound to generate bubble clouds for transcutaneous tissue liquefaction. Bubble activity maps are under development to provide image guidance and monitor treatment progress. The aim of this paper was to investigate the feasibility of using plane wave B-mode and passive cavitation images to be used as binary classifiers of histotripsy-induced liquefaction. Prostate tissue phantoms were exposed to histotripsy pulses over a range of pulse durations (5- ) and peak negative pressures (12-23 MPa). Acoustic emissions were recorded during the insonation and beamformed to form passive cavitation images. Plane wave B-mode images were acquired following the insonation to detect the hyperechoic bubble cloud. Phantom samples were sectioned and stained to delineate the liquefaction zone. Correlation between passive cavitation and plane wave B-mode images and the liquefaction zone was assessed using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Liquefaction of the phantom was observed for all the insonation conditions. The area under the ROC (0.94 versus 0.82), accuracy (0.90 versus 0.83), and sensitivity (0.81 versus 0.49) was greater for passive cavitation images relative to B-mode images ( ) along the azimuth of the liquefaction zone. The specificity was greater than 0.9 for both imaging modalities. These results demonstrate a stronger correlation between histotripsy-induced liquefaction and passive cavitation imaging compared with the plane wave B-mode imaging, albeit with limited passive cavitation image range resolution.
Project description:Histotripsy has been shown to be an effective treatment for model kidney stones, eroding their surface to tiny particulate debris via a cavitational bubble cloud. However, similar to shock wave lithotripsy, histotripsy stone treatments display a rate-dependent efficacy, with pulses applied at a low rate generating more efficient stone erosion in comparison with those applied at a high rate. This is hypothesized to be the result of residual cavitation bubble nuclei generated by bubble cloud collapse. Although the histotripsy bubble cloud only lasts on the order of 100 ?s, these microscopic remnant bubbles can persist on the order of 1 s, inducing direct attenuation of subsequent histotripsy pulses and influencing bubble cloud dynamics. In an effort to mitigate these effects, we have developed a novel strategy to actively remove residual cavitation nuclei from the field using low-amplitude ultrasound pulses. Previous work has demonstrated that with selection of the appropriate acoustic parameters these bubble removal pulses can stimulate the aggregation and subsequent coalescence of microscopic bubble nuclei, effectively deleting them from the target volume. Here, we incorporate bubble removal pulses in histotripsy treatment of model kidney stones. It was found that when histotripsy is applied at low rate (1 Hz), bubble removal does not produce a statistically significant change in erosion. At higher pulse rates of 10, 100, and 500 Hz, incorporating bubble removal results in 3.7-, 7.5-, and 2.7-fold increases in stone erosion, respectively. High-speed imaging indicates that the introduction of bubble removal pulses allows bubble cloud dynamics resulting from high pulse rates to more closely approximate those generated at the low rate of 1 Hz. These results corroborate previous work in the field of shock wave lithotripsy regarding the ill effects of residual bubble nuclei, and suggest that high treatment efficiency can be recovered at high pulse rates through appropriate manipulation of the cavitation environment surrounding the stone.
Project description:Histotripsy, a form of therapeutic ultrasound that uses the mechanical action of microbubble clouds for tissue ablation, is under development to treat chronic deep vein thrombosis (DVT). We hypothesize that combining thrombolytic agents with histotripsy will enhance clot lysis. Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) and rt-PA-loaded echogenic liposomes that entrain octafluoropropane microbubbles (OFP t-ELIP) were used in combination with highly shocked histotripsy pulses. Fully retracted porcine venous clots, with similar features of DVT occlusions, were exposed either to histotripsy pulses alone (peak negative pressures of 7-20?MPa), histotripsy and OFP t-ELIP, or histotripsy and rt-PA. Microbubble cloud activity was monitored with passive cavitation imaging during histotripsy exposure. The power levels of cavitation emissions from within the clot were not statistically different between treatment types, likely due to the near instantaneous rupture and destruction of OFP t-ELIP. The thrombolytic efficacy was significantly improved in the presence of rt-PA. These results suggest the combination of histotripsy and rt-PA could serve as a potent therapeutic strategy for the treatment of DVT.
Project description:Histotripsy is a noninvasive and nonthermal ultrasound ablation technique, which mechanically ablates the tissues using very short, focused, high-pressured ultrasound pulses to generate dense cavitating bubble cloud. Histotripsy requires large negative pressures (?28 MPa) to generate cavitation in the target tissue, guided by real-time ultrasound imaging guidance. The high cavitation threshold and reliance on real-time image guidance are potential limitations of histotripsy, particularly for the treatment of multifocal or metastatic cancers. To address these potential limitations, we have recently developed nanoparticle-mediated histotripsy (NMH) where perfluorocarbon (PFC)-filled nanodroplets (NDs) with the size of ?200 nm were used as cavitation nuclei for histotripsy, as they are able to significantly lower the cavitation threshold. However, although NDs were shown to be an effective histotripsy agent, they pose several issues. Their generation requires multistep synthesis, they lack long-term stability, and determination of PFC concentration in the treatment dose is not possible. In this study, PFC-filled nanocones (NCs) were developed as a new generation of histotripsy agents to address the mentioned limitations of NDs. The developed NCs represent an inclusion complex of methylated ?-cyclodextrin as a water-soluble analog of ?-cyclodextrin and perfluorohexane (PFH) as more effective PFC derivatives for histotripsy. Results showed that NCs are easy to produce, biocompatible, have a size <50 nm, and have a quantitative complexation that allows us to directly calculate the PFH amount in the used NC dose. Results further demonstrated that NCs embedded into tissue-mimicking phantoms generated histotripsy cavitation "bubble clouds" at a significantly lower transducer amplitude compared to control phantoms, demonstrating the ability of NCs to function as effective histotripsy agents for NMH.
Project description:Microscopic residual bubble nuclei can persist on the order of 1 s following a cavitation event. These bubbles can limit the efficacy of ultrasound therapies such as shock wave lithotripsy and histotripsy, because they attenuate pulses that arrive subsequent to their formation and seed repetitive cavitation activity at a discrete set of sites (cavitation memory). Here, we explore a strategy for the removal of these residual bubbles following a cavitation event, using low-amplitude ultrasound pulses to stimulate bubble coalescence. All experiments were conducted in degassed water and monitored using high-speed photography. In each case, a 2-MHz histotripsy transducer was used to initiate cavitation activity (a cavitational bubble cloud), the collapse of which generated a population of residual bubble nuclei. This residual nuclei population was then sonicated using a 1 ms pulse from a separate 500-kHz transducer, which we term the bubble removal pulse. Bubble removal pulse amplitudes ranging from 0 to 1.7 MPa were tested, and the backlit area of shadow from bubbles remaining in the field following bubble removal was calculated to quantify efficacy. It was found that an ideal amplitude range exists (roughly 180 to 570 kPa) in which bubble removal pulses stimulate the aggregation and subsequent coalescence of residual bubble nuclei, effectively removing them from the field. Further optimization of bubble removal pulse sequences stands to provide an adjunct to cavitation-based ultrasound therapies such as shock wave lithotripsy and histotripsy, mitigating the effects of residual bubble nuclei that currently limit their efficacy.
Project description:Boiling histotripsy is a promising High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) technique that can be used to induce mechanical tissue fractionation at the HIFU focus via cavitation. Two different types of cavitation produced during boiling histotripsy exposure can contribute towards mechanical tissue destruction: (1) a boiling vapour bubble at the HIFU focus and (2) cavitation clouds in between the boiling bubble and the HIFU source. Control of the extent and degree of mechanical damage produced by boiling histotripsy is necessary when treating a solid tumour adjacent to normal tissue or major blood vessels. This is, however, difficult to achieve with boiling histotripsy due to the stochastic formation of the shock scattering-induced inertial cavitation clouds. In the present study, a new histotripsy method termed pressure-modulated shockwave histotripsy is proposed as an alternative to or in addition to boiling histotripsy without inducing the shock scattering effect. The proposed concept is (a) to generate a boiling vapour bubble via localised shockwave heating and (b) subsequently control its extent and lifetime through manipulating peak pressure magnitudes and a HIFU pulse length. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method, bubble dynamics induced at the HIFU focus in an optically transparent liver tissue phantom were investigated using a high speed camera and a passive cavitation detection systems under a single 10, 50 or 100 ms-long 2, 3.5 or 5 MHz pressure-modulated HIFU pulse with varying peak positive and negative pressure amplitudes from 5 to 89 MPa and -3.7 to -14.6 MPa at the focus. Furthermore, a numerical simulation of 2D nonlinear wave propagation with the presence of a boiling bubble at the focus of a HIFU field was conducted by numerically solving the generalised Westervelt equation. The high speed camera experimental results showed that, with the proposed pressure-modulated shockwave histotripsy, boiling bubbles generated by shockwave heating merged together, forming a larger bubble (of the order of a few hundred micron) at the HIFU focus. This coalesced boiling bubble then persisted and maintained within the HIFU focal zone until the end of the exposure (10, 50, or 100 ms). Furthermore, and most importantly, no violent cavitation clouds which typically appear in boiling histotripsy occurred during the proposed histotripsy excitation (i.e. no shock scattering effect). This was likely because that the peak negative pressure magnitude of the backscattered acoustic field by the boiling bubble was below the cavitation cloud intrinsic threshold. The size of the coalesced boiling bubble gradually increased with the peak pressure magnitudes. In addition, with the proposed method, an oval shaped lesion with a length of 0.6 mm and a width of 0.1 mm appeared at the HIFU focus in the tissue phantom, whereas a larger lesion in the form of a tadpole (length: 2.7 mm, width: 0.3 mm) was produced by boiling histotripsy. Taken together, these results suggest that the proposed pressure-modulated shockwave histotripsy could potentially be used to induce a more spatially localised tissue destruction with a desired degree of mechanical damage through controlling the size and lifetime of a boiling bubble without the shock scattering effect.
Project description:Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) suffers from the fact that it can produce residual stone fragments of significant size (>2 mm). Mechanistically, cavitation has been shown to play an important role in the reduction of such fragments to smaller debris. In this study, we assessed the feasibility of using cavitationally-based pulsed ultrasound therapy (histotripsy) to erode kidney stones. Previous work has shown that histotripsy is capable of mechanically fractionating soft tissue into fine, acellular debris. Here, we investigated the potential for translating this technology to renal calculi through the use of a commonly accepted stone model. Stone models were sonicated using a 1-MHz focused transducer, with 5-cycle pulses delivered at a rate of 1 kHz. Pulses having peak negative pressures ranging from 3 to 21 MPa were tested. Results indicate that histotripsy is capable of effectively eroding the stone model, achieving an average stone erosion rate of 26 mg/min at maximum treatment pressure; substantial stone erosion was only observed in the presence of a dense cavitational bubble cloud. Sequential sieving of residual stone fragments indicated that debris produced by histotripsy was smaller than 100 ?m in size, and treatment monitoring showed that both the cavitational bubble cloud and model stone appear as hyperechoic regions on B-mode imaging. These preliminary results indicate that histotripsy shows promise in its use for stone comminution, and an optimized erosion process may provide a potential adjunct to conventional SWL procedures.
Project description:Stone comminution in shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) has been documented to result from mechanical stresses conferred directly to the stone, as well as the activity of cavitational microbubbles. Studies have demonstrated that the presence of this cavitation activity is crucial for stone subdivision; however, its exact role in the comminution process remains somewhat weakly defined, in part because it is difficult to isolate the cavitational component from the shock waves themselves. In this study, we further explored the importance of cavitation in SWL stone comminution through the use of histotripsy ultrasound therapy. Histotripsy was used to target model stones designed to mimic the mid-range tensile fracture strength of naturally occurring cystine calculi with controlled cavitation at strategic time points in the SWL comminution process. All SWL was applied at a peak positive pressure (p+) of 34 MPa and a peak negative pressure (p-) of 8 MPa; a shock rate of 1 Hz was used. Histotripsy pulses had a p- of 33 MPa and were applied at a pulse repetition frequency (PRF) of 100 Hz. Ten model stones were sonicated in vitro with each of five different treatment schemes: A) 10 min of SWL (600 shocks) with 0.7 s of histotripsy interleaved between successive shocks (totaling to 42 000 pulses); B) 10 min of SWL (600 shocks) followed by 10 min of histotripsy applied in 0.7-s bursts (1 burst per second, totaling to 42 000 pulses); C) 10 min of histotripsy applied in 0.7-s bursts (42 000 pulses) followed by 10 min of SWL (600 shocks); D) 10 min of SWL only (600 shocks); E) 10 min of histotripsy only, applied in 0.7-s bursts (42 000 pulses). Following sonication, debris was collected and sieved through 8-, 6-, 4-, and 2-mm filters. It was found that scheme D, SWL only, generated a broad range of fragment sizes, with an average of 14.9 ± 24.1% of the original stone mass remaining > 8 mm. Scheme E, histotripsy only, eroded the surface of stones to tiny particulate debris that was small enough to pass through the finest filter used in this study (<2 mm), leaving behind a single primary stone piece (>8 mm) with mass 85.1 ± 1.6% of the original following truncated sonication. The combination of SWL and histotripsy (schemes A, B, and C) resulted in a shift in the size distribution toward smaller fragments and complete elimination of debris > 8 mm. When histotripsy-controlled cavitation was applied following SWL (B), the increase in exposed stone surface area afforded by shock wave stone subdivision led to enhanced cavitation erosion. When histotripsy-controlled cavitation was applied before SWL (C), it is likely that stone surface defects induced by cavitation erosion provided sites for crack nucleation and accelerated shock wave stone subdivision. Both of these effects are likely at play in the interleaved therapy (A), although shielding of shock waves by remnant histotripsy microbubble nuclei may have limited the efficacy of this scheme. Nevertheless, these results demonstrate the important role played by cavitation in the stone comminution process, and suggest that the application of controlled cavitation at strategic time points can provide an adjunct to traditional SWL therapy.