Acoustic cavitation in phacoemulsification: Chemical effects, modes of action and cavitation index

Moris Topaz, Menachem Motiei, Ehud Assia, Dan Meyerstein, Naomi Meyerstein, Aharon Gedanken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


High-intensity ultrasound (US) energy (HIUE) has been extensively used in the last 3 decades in a wide range of surgical procedures, including phacoemulsification. The generation of radicals and sonoluminescence (SL) by application of continuous-wave (CW) HIUE to an aqueous medium under conditions simulating cataract phacoemulsification surgery is demonstrated by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and a sensitive photon-detecting system. The findings provide direct evidence for the generation of acoustic cavitation in the simulated intraocular environment, pointing out that generation of acoustic cavitation in clinical phacoemulsification and other surgical applications of US is possible. The findings imply that the effects of acoustic cavitation in aqueous medium may contribute to the endothelial damage observed clinically following phacoemulsification cataract surgery. Saturation of the irrigating solution with various gases modifies the acoustic cavitation. Saturation of the irrigating solution with CO2 practically eliminates acoustic cavitation, with the concomitant elimination of radicals and SonL. CO2 may be utilized clinically to suppress acoustic cavitation in phacoemulsification and other medical applications. A cavitation index (CI) is introduced for the purpose of standardizing phacoemulsification instrumentation and other medical US devices that employ HIUE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-784
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 23 Jul 2002


  • Acoustic cavitation
  • Cavitation index (CI)
  • EPR spectroscopy
  • High-intensity ultrasound energy (HIUE)
  • Phacoemulsification cataract surgery
  • Radicals
  • Sonoluminescence (SL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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