Evolution of acoustically vaporized microdroplets in gas embolotherapy

Adnan Qamar, ZhengZheng Wong, Brian Brian Fowlkes, Joseph L. Bull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Acoustic vaporization dynamics of a superheated dodecafluoropentane (DDFP) microdroplet inside a microtube and the resulting bubble evolution is investigated in the present work. This work is motivated by a developmental gas embolotherapy technique that is intended to treat cancers by infarcting tumors using gas bubbles. A combined theoretical and computational approach is utilized and compared with the experiments to understand the evolution process and to estimate the resulting stress distribution associated with vaporization event. The transient bubble growth is first studied by ultra-high speed imaging and then theoretical and computational modeling is used to predict the entire bubble evolution process. The evolution process consists of three regimes: an initial linear rapid spherical growth followed by a linear compressed oval shaped growth and finally a slow asymptotic nonlinear spherical bubble growth. Although the droplets are small compared to the tube diameter, the bubble evolution is influenced by the tube wall. The final bubble radius is found to scale linearly with the initial droplet radius and is approximately five times the initial droplet radius. A short pressure pulse with amplitude almost twice as that of ambient conditions is observed. The width of this pressure pulse increases with increasing droplet size whereas the amplitude is weakly dependent. Although the rise in shear stress along the tube wall is found to be under peak physiological limits, the shear stress amplitude is found to be more prominently influenced by the initial droplet size. The role of viscous dissipation along the tube wall and ambient bulk fluid pressure is found to be significant in bubble evolution dynamics. © 2012 American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 27 2012

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was funded by NIH Grant No. R01EB006476.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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