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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v34.i2.10
pages 105-161

Cavitation Bioeffects

Eitan Kimmel
Biomedical Engineering Department, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel

ABSTRACT

Acoustic cavitation takes place when tiny gas bubbles oscillate, grow, and collapse in liquid under the influence of ultrasonic field. This study reviews cavitation bioeffects that are found both in vivo and in vitro when exposed to either low- or high-power acoustics. Proposed mechanisms are discussed here as well based on theoretical studies, simulations and test bench experiments. Bioeffects are induced in living tissue once the gas bubble is, for instance, within a blood vessel in close vicinity to the endothelium or to the red blood cells. Conditions for inducing various bioeffects are discussed − from severe damage, such as cell necrosis, to delicate alterations, such as increased permeability of cell membrane. Present and potential applications for therapeutic purpose from stone pulverization and tissue ablation to gene transfection and transdermal delivery are reviewed including the growing use of artificial microbubbles.