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Localized damage of tissues induced by focused shock waves

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5 Author(s)
P. Sunka ; Inst. of Plasma Phys., Czech Republic ; V. Babicky ; M. Clupek ; J. Benes
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A novel method for generation of focused shock waves has been developed. A cylindrical pressure wave, created by a high-voltage multichannel discharge in water with an increased electrical conductivity, is focused by a metallic parabolic reflector. The discharge is formed on a composite anode consisting of a cylindrical stainless steel electrode covered by a thin porous ceramic layer. In such an arrangement at the applied voltage of 30 kV, a large number of short discharge channels distributed homogeneously on the anode surface is initiated. Each discharge channel creates a semi-spherical pressure wave, and by superposition of all of the waves, a cylindrical pressure wave propagating from the anode is formed. The cylindrical pressure wave is focused by a metallic parabolic reflector (cathode) and near the focus it is transformed into a strong shock wave. The focal volume is 2.5 mm in diameter and 32 mm long. We have demonstrated that the focused shock waves destroy human red blood cells (erythrocytes) very efficiently. Interaction of the focused shock waves with fresh potatoes that have high water content have been used to assess the mechanical effects of the waves. The 6-cm-thick slab of potato was placed next to the focal region and exposed to 10 shocks at 30 kV. The experiment demonstrated that only the focal region inside the potato had been damaged and no damage was seen between the potato surface and the focal region. Local injury of animal liver tissues exposed to the shock waves were observed in vitro. Livers of three rabbits have been exposed in vivo. Histological analysis of the exposed tissues revealed injuries and hemorrhages at the focal region of the shock waves.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 4 )