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The mechanical index (MI) was formulated to gauge the likelihood of adverse bioeffects from inertial cavitation. However, the MI formulation did not consider bubble activity from stable cavitation. This type of bubble activity can be readily nucleated from ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) and has the potential to promote beneficial bioeffects. Here, the presence of stable cavitation is determined numerically by tracking the onset of subharmonic oscillations within a population of bubbles for frequencies up to 7 MHz and peak rarefactional pressures up to 3 MPa. In addition, the acoustic pressure rupture threshold of an UCA population was determined using the Marmottant model. The threshold for subharmonic emissions of optimally sized bubbles was found to be lower than the inertial cavitation threshold for all frequencies studied. The rupture thresholds of optimally sized UCAs were found to be lower than the threshold for subharmonic emissions for either single cycle or steady state acoustic excitations. Because the thresholds of both subharmonic emissions and UCA rupture are linearly dependent on frequency, an index of the form I(CAV) = P(r)/f (where P(r) is the peak rarefactional pressure in MPa and f is the frequency in MHz) was derived to gauge the likelihood of subharmonic emissions due to stable cavitation activity nucleated from UCAs.
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Physics in medicine and biology
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