Histotripsy treatments use high-amplitude shock waves to fractionate tissue. Such treatments have been demonstrated using both cavitation bubbles excited with microsecond-long pulses and boiling bubbles excited for milliseconds. A common feature of both approaches is the need for bubble growth, where at 1 MHz cavitation bubbles reach maximum radii on the order of 100 microns and boiling bubbles grow to about 1 mm. To explore how histotripsy bubbles grow, a model of a single, spherical bubble that accounts for heat and mass transport was used to simulate the bubble dynamics. Results suggest that the asymmetry inherent in nonlinearly distorted waveforms can lead to rectified bubble growth, which is enhanced at elevated temperatures. Moreover, the rate of this growth is sensitive to the waveform shape, in particular the transition from the peak negative pressure to the shock front. Current efforts are focused on elucidating this behavior by obtaining an improved calibration of measured histotripsy waveforms with a fiber-optic hydrophone, using a nonlinear propagation model to assess the impact on the focal waveform of higher harmonics present at the source's surface, and photographically observing bubble growth rates.

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