Acoustic cavitation in phacoemulsification and the role of antioxidants

Moris Topaz, Vladimir Shuster, Ehud I. Assia, Dan Meyerstein, Naomi Meyerstein, Dalia Mazor, Aharon Gedanken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Cataract surgery by phacoemulsification generates acoustic cavitation, resulting in formation of reactive oxygen species. The aim of this study was to establish the mechanism of damage by phacoemulsification in an in vitro setting simulating cataract surgery and to assess the protective effects of water-soluble antioxidants. Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to analyze generation of radicals in an intraocular irrigating solution by phacoemulsification instrumentation, operating at an ultrasonic frequency range of 40-60 kHz. Hydroxyl radicals were generated by phacoemulsification under conditions simulating cataract surgery. The effects of water-soluble antioxidants in the irrigating solution on the amounts of radicals were evaluated by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The water-soluble antioxidant glutathione, applied in either oxidized or reduced form, decreased hydroxyl radicals concentration measured in the sonicated medium. The effective concentrations of oxidized and reduced glutathione in irrigating solution that significantly eliminate the hydroxyl radical signal were determined in the range of 10-3-10-2 M. Antioxidants should be applied clinically to reduce damage to the corneal endothelium induced by phacoemulsification, thereby improving biosafety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1129
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2005


  • Acoustic cavitation
  • Antioxidants
  • Cataract surgery
  • Cavitation index (CI)
  • Hydroxyl radicals
  • Irrigating solution
  • Phacoemulsification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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