Prediction of far-field acoustic emissions from cavitation clouds during shock wave lithotripsy for development of a clinical device

T. G. Leighton, C. K. Turangan, A. R. Jamaluddin, G. J. Ball, P. R. White


This study presents the key simulation and decision stage of a multi-disciplinary project to develop a hospital device for monitoring the effectiveness of kidney stone fragmentation by shock wave lithotripsy (SWL). The device analyses, in real time, the pressure fields detected by sensors placed on the patient's torso, fields generated by the interaction of the incident shock wave, cavitation, kidney stone and soft tissue. Earlier free-Lagrange simulations of those interactions were restricted (by limited computational resources) to computational domains within a few centimetres of the stone. Later studies estimated the far-field pressures generated when those interactions involved only single bubbles. This study extends the free-Lagrange method to quantify the bubble–bubble interaction as a function of their separation. This, in turn, allowed identification of the validity of using a model of non-interacting bubbles to obtain estimations of the far-field pressures from 1000 bubbles distributed within the focus of the SWL field. Up to this point in the multi-disciplinary project, the design of the clinical device had been led by the simulations. This study records the decision point when the project's direction had to be led by far more costly clinical trials instead of the relatively inexpensive simulations.

  • Received September 11, 2012.
  • Accepted November 14, 2012.
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