Photoacoustic cavitation


The laser generation of vapor bubbles around plasmonic nanoparticles can be enhanced through the application of an ultrasound field; a technique referred to as photoacoustic cavitation. The combination of light and ultrasound allows for bubble formation at lower laser fluence and peak negative ultrasound pressure than can be achieved using either modality alone. The growth and collapse of these bubbles leads to local mechanical disruption and acoustic emission, and can potentially be used to induce and monitor tissue therapy. Photoacoustic cavitation is investigated for a broad range of ultrasound pressures and nanoparticle concentrations for gold nanorods and nanospheres. The cavitation threshold fluences for both nanoparticle types are found to drastically reduce in the presence of an ultrasound field. The results indicate that photoacoustic cavitation can potentially be produced at depth in biological tissue without exceeding the safety limits for ultrasound or laser radiation at the tissue surface.

Recent Publications and Presentations

  • Ju, H., Roy R.A., and Murray, T.W., “Gold nanoparticle targeted photoacoustic cavitation for potential deep tissue imaging and therapy,” Biomedical Optics Express 4(1), 66-76 (2013).