Shock-induced bubble jetting into a viscous fluid with application to tissue injury in shock-wave lithotripsy

J. B. Freund, R. K. Shukla, A. P. Evan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Shock waves in liquids are known to cause spherical gas bubbles to rapidly collapse and form strong re-entrant jets in the direction of the propagating shock. The interaction of these jets with an adjacent viscous liquid is investigated using finite-volume simulation methods. This configuration serves as a model for tissue injury during shock-wave lithotripsy, a medical procedure to remove kidney stones. In this case, the viscous fluid provides a crude model for the tissue. It is found that for viscosities comparable to what might be expected in tissue, the jet that forms upon collapse of a small bubble fails to penetrate deeply into the viscous fluid "tissue." A simple model reproduces the penetration distance versus viscosity observed in the simulations and leads to a phenomenological model for the spreading of injury with multiple shocks. For a reasonable selection of a single efficiency parameter, this model is able to reproduce in vivo observations of an apparent 1000-shock threshold before wide-spread tissue injury occurs in targeted kidneys and the approximate extent of this injury after a typical clinical dose of 2000 shock waves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2746-2756
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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