An ultrasonically actuated fine-needle creates cavitation in bovine liver

Emanuele Perra, Nick Hayward, Kenneth P.H. Pritzker, Heikki J. Nieminen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


Ultrasonic cavitation is being used in medical applications as a way to influence matter, such as tissue or drug vehicles, on a micro-scale. Oscillating or collapsing cavitation bubbles provide transient mechanical force fields, which can, e.g., fractionate soft tissue or even disintegrate solid objects, such as calculi. Our recent study demonstrates that an ultrasonically actuated medical needle can create cavitation phenomena inside water. However, the presence and behavior of cavitation and related bioeffects in diagnostic and therapeutic applications with ultrasonically actuated needles are not known. Using simulations, we demonstrate numerically and experimentally the cavitation phenomena near ultrasonically actuated needles. We define the cavitation onset within a liver tissue model with different total acoustic power levels. We directly visualize and quantitatively characterize cavitation events generated by the ultrasonic needle in thin fresh bovine liver sections enabled by high-speed imaging. On a qualitative basis, the numerical and experimental results show a close resemblance in threshold and spatial distribution of cavitation. These findings are crucial for developing new methods and technologies employing ultrasonically actuated fine needles, such as ultrasound-enhanced fine-needle biopsy, drug delivery, and histotripsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3690-3702
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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