Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


2.3 MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, Medical engineering

Publication Details

International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, 2010, 26, pp.828-842. Special issue: Selected papers from the First International Conference on Computational and Mathematical Biomedical Engineering, CMBE09, Swansea June 29 - 1 July, 2009 - Part 1 Available from


The delivery of high-power ultrasonic energy via small diameter wire waveguides represents a new alternative therapy for the treatment of chronic totally occluded arteries (CTOs). This type of energy manifests itself as a mechanical vibration at the distal-tip of the waveguide with amplitudes of vibration up to 60 µm and at frequencies of 20- 50 kHz. Disruption of diseased tissue is reported to be a result of direct mechanical ablation, cavitation, pressure components and acoustic streaming and that ablation was only evident above the cavitation threshold. This work presents a linear finite element acoustic fluid-structure model of an ultrasonic angioplasty waveguide in vivo. The model was first verified against a reported analytical solution for an oscillating sphere. It was determined that 140 elements per wavelength (EPW) were required to predict the pressure profile generated by the wire waveguide distal-tip. Implementing this EPW count, the pressure field surrounding a range of distal-tip geometries was modelled. For validation, a model was developed with parameters based on a bench-top experiment from the literature of an ultrasonic wire waveguide in a phantom leg. This model showed good correlation with the experimental measurements. These models may aid in the further development of this technology.



HEA Technology Sector Research: Strand I