THE ROLE OF ACOUSTIC CAVITATION IN ENHANCED ULTRASOUND-INDUCED HEATING IN A TISSUE-MIMICKING PHANTOM
Edson, Patrick Lee
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A complete understanding of high-intensity focused ultrasound-induced temperature changes in tissue requires insight into all potential mechanisms for heat deposition. Applications of therapeutic ultrasound often utilize acoustic pressures capable of producing cavitation activity. Recognizing the ability of bubbles to transfer acoustic energy into heat generation, a study of the role bubbles play in tissue hyperthermia becomes necessary. These bubbles are typically less than 50μm. This dissertation examines the contribution of bubbles and their motion to an enhanced heating effect observed in a tissue-mimicking phantom. A series of experiments established a relationship between bubble activity and an enhanced temperature rise in the phantom by simultaneously measuring both the temperature change and acoustic emissions from bubbles. It was found that a strong correlation exists between the onset of the enhanced heating effect and observable cavitation activity. In addition, the likelihood of observing the enhanced heating effect was largely unaffected by the insonation duration for all but the shortest of insonation times, 0.1 seconds. Numerical simulations were used investigate the relative importance of two candidate mechanisms for heat deposition from bubbles as a means to quantify the number of bubbles required to produce the enhanced temperature rise. The energy deposition from viscous dissipation and the absorption of radiated sound from bubbles were considered as a function of the bubble size and the viscosity of the surrounding medium. Although both mechanisms were capable of producing the level of energy required for the enhanced heating effect, it was found that inertial cavitation, associated with high acoustic radiation and low viscous dissipation, coincided with the the nature of the cavitation best detected by the experimental system. The number of bubbles required to account for the enhanced heating effect was determined through the numerical study to be on the order of 150 or less.