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High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is quickly becoming one of the best methods to thermally ablate tissue noninvasively. Unlike RF or Laser ablation, the tissue can be destroyed without inserting any probes into the body minimizing the risk of secondary complications such as infections. In this study, the heating efficiency of HIFU sources is improved by altering the excitation of the ultrasound source to take advantage of nonlinear propagation. For ultrasound, the phase velocity of the ultrasound wave depends on the amplitude of the wave resulting in the generation of higher harmonics. These higher harmonics are more efficiently converted into heat in the body due to the frequency dependence of the ultrasound absorption in tissue. In our study, the generation of the higher harmonics by nonlinear propagation is enhanced by transmitting an ultrasound wave with both the fundamental and a higher harmonic component included. Computer simulations demonstrated up to a 300% increase in temperature increase compared to transmitting at only the fundamental for the same acoustic power transmitted by the source.
Date of Conference: 3-6 Sept. 2009