An acoustically matched high pressure chamber for control of cavitation in shock wave lithotripsy: Mechanisms of shock wave damage in vitro

Mark A. Stonehill, James C. Williams, Michael R. Bailey, David Lounsbery, Robin O. Cleveland, Lawrence A. Crum, Andrew P. Evan, James A. McAteer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Increased ambient pressure (excess hydrostatic pressure) was used to regulate cavitation in the aqueous media surrounding isolated red blood cells and aluminum foils used as targets in studies of the mechanisms of shock wave (SW) damage in shock wave lithotripsy (SWL). Foils or cells were placed in a cylindrical chamber (bronze-aluminum alloy) connected to a regulator and nitrogen source. The ends of the cylinder were capped with planar, plastic plates 12.7 mm thick. Tests performed with a PVDF membrane hydrophone showed that SW's passed through the plastic without significant loss of amplitude or change in waveform. Pitting of foils, a form of damage that can only be due to cavitation, was eliminated by very high (~70 atm) added pressure. It took substantially greater added pressure to reduce damage to foils than has been reported to reduce damage to cells, suggesting differences in how cavitation is regulated in bulk fluid versus a solid surface. This report describes the design of the pressure chamber used in these studies and explains how SW exposures of isolated cells and foil targets were performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-310
Number of pages8
JournalMethods in Cell Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1998



  • Cavitation
  • Cell injury
  • Shock wave lithotripsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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