In vitro comminution of model renal calculi using histotripsy.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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.
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:Histotripsy is a non-invasive ultrasonic ablation method that uses cavitation to mechanically fractionate tissue into acellular debris. With a sufficient number of pulses, histotripsy can completely fractionate tissue into a liquid-appearing homogenate with no cellular structures. The location, shape and size of lesion formation closely match those of the cavitation cloud. Previous work has led to the hypothesis that the rapid expansion and collapse of histotripsy bubbles fractionate tissue by inducing large stress and strain on the tissue structures immediately adjacent to the bubbles. In the work described here, the histotripsy bulk tissue fractionation process is visualized at the cellular level for the first time using a custom-built 2-MHz transducer incorporated into a microscope stage. A layer of breast cancer cells were cultured within an optically transparent fibrin-based gel phantom to mimic cells inside a 3-D extracellular matrix. To test the hypothesis, the cellular response to single and multiple histotripsy pulses was investigated using high-speed optical imaging. Bubbles were always generated in the extracellular space, and significant cell displacement/deformation was observed for cells directly adjacent to the bubble during both bubble expansion and collapse. The largest displacements were observed during collapse for cells immediately adjacent to the bubble, with cells moving more than 150-300 ?m in less than 100 ?s. Cells often underwent multiple large deformations (>150% strain) over multiple pulses, resulting in the bisection of cells multiple times before complete removal. To provide theoretical support to the experimental observations, a numerical simulation was conducted using a single-bubble model, which indicated that histotripsy exerts the largest strains and cell displacements in the regions immediately adjacent to the bubble. The experimental and simulation results support our hypothesis, which helps to explain the formation of the sharp lesions formed in histotripsy therapy localized to the regions directly exposed to the bubbles.
Project description: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:Histotripsy is a therapeutic ultrasound modality under development to liquefy tissue mechanically via bubble clouds. Image guidance of histotripsy requires both quantification of the bubble cloud activity and accurate delineation of the treatment zone. In this study, magnetic resonance (MR) and diagnostic ultrasound imaging were combined to assess histotripsy treatment in vitro and ex vivo. Mechanically ablative histotripsy pulses were applied to agarose phantoms or porcine livers. Bubble cloud emissions were monitored with passive cavitation imaging (PCI), and hyperechogenicity via plane wave imaging. Changes in the medium structure due to bubble activity were assessed with diagnostic ultrasound using conventional B-mode imaging and T 1-, T 2-, and diffusion-weighted MR images acquired at 3 Tesla. Liquefaction zones were correlated with diagnostic ultrasound and MR imaging via receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) analysis. Diagnostic ultrasound indicated strong bubble activity for all samples. Histotripsy-induced changes in sample structure were evident on conventional B-mode and T 2-weighted images for all samples, and were dependent on the sample type for T 1- and diffusion-weighted imaging. The greatest changes observed on conventional B-mode or MR imaging relative to baseline in the samples did not necessarily indicate the regions of strongest bubble activity. Areas under the ROC curve for predicting phantom or liver liquefaction were significantly greater than 0.5 for PCI power, plane wave and conventional B-mode grayscale, T 1, T 2, and ADC. The acoustic power mapped via PCI provided a better prediction of liquefaction than assessment of the liquefaction zone via conventional B-mode or MR imaging for all samples. The DSC values for T 2-weighted images were greater than those derived from conventional B-mode images. These results indicate diagnostic ultrasound and MR imaging provide complimentary sets of information, demonstrating that multimodal imaging is useful for assessment of histotripsy liquefaction.
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:The efficacy of ultrasound therapies such as hock-wave lithotripsy and histotripsy can be compromised by residual cavitation bubble nuclei that persist following the collapse of primary cavitation. In our previous work, we have developed a unique strategy for mitigating the effects of these residual bubbles using low-amplitude ultrasound pulses to stimulate their aggregation and subsequent coalescence—effectively removing them from the field. Here, we further develop this bubble removal strategy through an investigation of the effect of frequency on the consolidation process. Bubble removal pulses ranging from 0.5 to 2 MHz were used to sonicate the population of residual nuclei produced upon collapse of a histotripsy bubble cloud. For each frequency, mechanical index(MI) values ranging from 0 to approximately 1.5 were tested.Results indicated that, when evaluated as a function of bubble removal pulse MI, the efficacy of bubble removal shows markedly similar trends for all frequencies tested. This behavior divides into three distinct regimes (with provided cutoffs being approximate): 1) MI < 0.2: Minimal effect on the population of remanent cavitation nuclei; 2) 0.2 < MI < 1: Aggregation and subsequent coalescence of residual bubbles, the extent of which trends toward a maximum; and 3) MI > 1: Bubble coalescence is compromised as bubble removal pulses induce high-magnitude inertial cavitation of residual bubbles. The major distinction in these trends came for bubble removal pulses applied at 2 MHz, which were observed to generate the most effective bubble coalescence of all frequencies tested. We hypothesize that this is a consequence of the secondary Bjerknes force being the major facilitator of the consolidation process, the magnitude of which increases when the bubble size distribution is far from resonance such that the phase difference of oscillation of individual bubbles is minimal.
Project description:Atomization and fountain formation is a well-known phenomenon that occurs when a focused ultrasound wave in liquid encounters an air interface. High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has been shown to fractionate a tissue into submicron-sized fragments in a process termed boiling histotripsy, wherein the focused ultrasound wave superheats the tissue at the focus, producing a millimetre-sized boiling or vapour bubble in several milliseconds. Yet the question of how this millimetre-sized boiling bubble creates submicron-sized tissue fragments remains. The hypothesis of this work is that the tissue can behave as a liquid such that it atomizes and forms a fountain within the vapour bubble produced in boiling histotripsy. We describe an experiment, in which a 2 MHz HIFU transducer (maximum in situ intensity of 24?000 W cm(-2)) was aligned with an air-tissue interface meant to simulate the boiling bubble. Atomization and fountain formation was observed with high-speed photography and resulted in tissue erosion. Histological examination of the atomized tissue showed whole and fragmented cells and nuclei. Air-liquid interfaces were also filmed. Our conclusion was that HIFU can fountain and atomize tissue. Although this process does not entirely mimic what was observed in liquids, it does explain many aspects of tissue fractionation in boiling histotripsy.
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.