Acoustic droplet vaporization is initiated by superharmonic focusing

Oleksandr Shpak, Martin Verweij, Hendrik J. Vos, Nico de Jong, Detlef Lohse, Michel Versluis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Acoustically sensitive emulsion droplets composed of a liquid perfluorocarbon have the potential to be a highly efficient system for local drug delivery, embolotherapy, or for tumor imaging. The physical mechanisms underlying the acoustic activation of these phase-change emulsions into a bubbly dispersion, termed acoustic droplet vaporization, have not been well understood. The droplets have a very high activation threshold; its frequency dependence does not comply with homogeneous nucleation theory and localized nucleation spots have been observed. Here we show that acoustic droplet vaporization is initiated by a combination of two phenomena: highly nonlinear distortion of the acoustic wave before it hits the droplet and focusing of the distorted wave by the droplet itself. At high excitation pressures, nonlinear distortion causes significant superharmonics with wavelengths of the order of the droplet size. These superharmonics strongly contribute to the focusing effect; therefore, the proposed mechanism also explains the observed pressure thresholding effect. Our interpretation is validated with experimental data captured with an ultrahigh-speed camera on the positions of the nucleation spots, where we find excellent agreement with the theoretical prediction. Moreover, the presented mechanism explains the hitherto counterintuitive dependence of the nucleation threshold on the ultrasound frequency. The physical insight allows for the optimization of acoustic droplet vaporization for therapeutic applications, in particular with respect to the acoustic pressures required for activation, thereby minimizing the negative bioeffects associated with the use of high-intensity ultrasound.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1697-1702
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume111
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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superharmonics
acoustics
nucleation
activation
emulsions
thresholds
pressure effects
delivery
drugs
tumors
cameras
optimization
causes
liquids
predictions
wavelengths
excitation

Keywords

  • IR-90672
  • METIS-303087

Cite this

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title = "Acoustic droplet vaporization is initiated by superharmonic focusing",
abstract = "Acoustically sensitive emulsion droplets composed of a liquid perfluorocarbon have the potential to be a highly efficient system for local drug delivery, embolotherapy, or for tumor imaging. The physical mechanisms underlying the acoustic activation of these phase-change emulsions into a bubbly dispersion, termed acoustic droplet vaporization, have not been well understood. The droplets have a very high activation threshold; its frequency dependence does not comply with homogeneous nucleation theory and localized nucleation spots have been observed. Here we show that acoustic droplet vaporization is initiated by a combination of two phenomena: highly nonlinear distortion of the acoustic wave before it hits the droplet and focusing of the distorted wave by the droplet itself. At high excitation pressures, nonlinear distortion causes significant superharmonics with wavelengths of the order of the droplet size. These superharmonics strongly contribute to the focusing effect; therefore, the proposed mechanism also explains the observed pressure thresholding effect. Our interpretation is validated with experimental data captured with an ultrahigh-speed camera on the positions of the nucleation spots, where we find excellent agreement with the theoretical prediction. Moreover, the presented mechanism explains the hitherto counterintuitive dependence of the nucleation threshold on the ultrasound frequency. The physical insight allows for the optimization of acoustic droplet vaporization for therapeutic applications, in particular with respect to the acoustic pressures required for activation, thereby minimizing the negative bioeffects associated with the use of high-intensity ultrasound.",
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Acoustic droplet vaporization is initiated by superharmonic focusing. / Shpak, Oleksandr; Verweij, Martin; Vos, Hendrik J.; de Jong, Nico; Lohse, Detlef ; Versluis, Michel.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 111, No. 5, 2014, p. 1697-1702.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Acoustic droplet vaporization is initiated by superharmonic focusing

AU - Shpak, Oleksandr

AU - Verweij, Martin

AU - Vos, Hendrik J.

AU - de Jong, Nico

AU - Lohse, Detlef

AU - Versluis, Michel

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Acoustically sensitive emulsion droplets composed of a liquid perfluorocarbon have the potential to be a highly efficient system for local drug delivery, embolotherapy, or for tumor imaging. The physical mechanisms underlying the acoustic activation of these phase-change emulsions into a bubbly dispersion, termed acoustic droplet vaporization, have not been well understood. The droplets have a very high activation threshold; its frequency dependence does not comply with homogeneous nucleation theory and localized nucleation spots have been observed. Here we show that acoustic droplet vaporization is initiated by a combination of two phenomena: highly nonlinear distortion of the acoustic wave before it hits the droplet and focusing of the distorted wave by the droplet itself. At high excitation pressures, nonlinear distortion causes significant superharmonics with wavelengths of the order of the droplet size. These superharmonics strongly contribute to the focusing effect; therefore, the proposed mechanism also explains the observed pressure thresholding effect. Our interpretation is validated with experimental data captured with an ultrahigh-speed camera on the positions of the nucleation spots, where we find excellent agreement with the theoretical prediction. Moreover, the presented mechanism explains the hitherto counterintuitive dependence of the nucleation threshold on the ultrasound frequency. The physical insight allows for the optimization of acoustic droplet vaporization for therapeutic applications, in particular with respect to the acoustic pressures required for activation, thereby minimizing the negative bioeffects associated with the use of high-intensity ultrasound.

AB - Acoustically sensitive emulsion droplets composed of a liquid perfluorocarbon have the potential to be a highly efficient system for local drug delivery, embolotherapy, or for tumor imaging. The physical mechanisms underlying the acoustic activation of these phase-change emulsions into a bubbly dispersion, termed acoustic droplet vaporization, have not been well understood. The droplets have a very high activation threshold; its frequency dependence does not comply with homogeneous nucleation theory and localized nucleation spots have been observed. Here we show that acoustic droplet vaporization is initiated by a combination of two phenomena: highly nonlinear distortion of the acoustic wave before it hits the droplet and focusing of the distorted wave by the droplet itself. At high excitation pressures, nonlinear distortion causes significant superharmonics with wavelengths of the order of the droplet size. These superharmonics strongly contribute to the focusing effect; therefore, the proposed mechanism also explains the observed pressure thresholding effect. Our interpretation is validated with experimental data captured with an ultrahigh-speed camera on the positions of the nucleation spots, where we find excellent agreement with the theoretical prediction. Moreover, the presented mechanism explains the hitherto counterintuitive dependence of the nucleation threshold on the ultrasound frequency. The physical insight allows for the optimization of acoustic droplet vaporization for therapeutic applications, in particular with respect to the acoustic pressures required for activation, thereby minimizing the negative bioeffects associated with the use of high-intensity ultrasound.

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