On-demand regulation and enhancement of the nucleation in acoustic droplet vaporization using dual-frequency focused ultrasound

Yubo Zhao, Dui Qin, Junjie Chen, Jin Hou, Tali Ilovitsh, Mingxi Wan, Liang Wu, Yi Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Acoustic droplet vaporization (ADV) plays an important role in focused ultrasound theranostics. Better understanding of the relationship between the ultrasound parameters and the ADV nucleation could provide an on-demand regulation and enhancement of ADV for improved treatment outcome. In this work, ADV nucleation was performed in a dual-frequency focused ultrasound configuration that consisted of a continuous low-frequency ultrasound and a short high-frequency pulse. The combination was modelled to investigate the effects of the driving frequency and acoustic power on the nucleation rate, efficiency, onset time, and dimensions of the nucleation region. The results showed that the inclusion of short pulsed high-frequency ultrasound significantly increased the nucleation rate with less energy, reduced the nucleation onset time, and changed the length–width ratio of the nucleation region, indicating the dual-frequency ultrasound mode yields an efficient enhancement of the ADV nucleation, compared to a single-frequency ultrasound mode. Furthermore, the acoustic and temperature fields varied independently with the dual-frequency ultrasound parameters. This facilitated the spatial and temporal control over the ADV nucleation, and opens the door to the possibility to realize on-demand regulation of the ADV occurrence in ultrasound theranostics. In addition, the improved energy efficacy that is obtained with the dual-frequency configuration lowered the requirements on hardware system, increasing its flexibility and could facilitate its implementation in practical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106224
JournalUltrasonics Sonochemistry
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

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© 2022 The Author(s)


  • ADV nucleation
  • Acoustic power
  • Driving frequency
  • Dual-frequency focused ultrasound
  • On-demand regulation


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