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Bubbles go high-tech to fight tumors

high intensity ultrasound. The ultrasound acts like a pin popping a water balloon. After the shell pops, the perfluorocarbon expands into a gas bubble that is approximately 125 times larger in volume than the droplet.

"If a bubble remained spherical its diameter would be much larger than that of the vessel," Bull said. "So it deforms into a long sausage-shaped bubble that lodges in the vessel like a cork. Two or three doses of bubbles will occlude most of the (blood) flow." Without blood flow, the tumor dies.

Because the bubble is so big, it's critical to get the right vessel in order not to damage it.

"How flexible the vessel is plays a very important role in where you do this," Bull said. That is the subject of a paper coming out on gas embolotherapy in the August issue of the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering.


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Source:University of Michigan


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