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John Kucewicz

Senior Engineer






2000-present and while at APL-UW

Design and characterization of a research phantom for shock-wave enhanced irradiations in high intensity focused ultrasound therapy

Kreider, W., B. Dunmire, J. Kucewicz, C. Hunter, T. Khokhlova, G. Schade, A. Maxwell, O. Sapozhnikov, L. Crum, and V. Khokhlova, "Design and characterization of a research phantom for shock-wave enhanced irradiations in high intensity focused ultrasound therapy," Proc., IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, 6-9 September, Washington, D.C., doi:10.1109/ULTSYM.2017.8092866 (IEEE, 2017).

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2 Nov 2017

The use of shock waves for enhancing thermal effects and mechanically ablating tissue is gaining increased attention in high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) applications such as tumor treatment, drug delivery, noninvasive biopsy, and immunotherapy. For abdominal targets, the presence of ribs and inhomogeneous adipose tissue can affect shock formation through aberration, absorption, and diffraction. The goal of this study was to design and validate a phantom for investigating the impact of different tissue structures on shock formation in situ. A transducer with driving electronics was developed to operate at 1.2 MHz with the ability to deliver either short pulses at high powers (up to 5 kW electric power) or continuous output at moderate powers (up to 700 W). Fat and muscle layers were represented by phantoms made from polyvinyl alcohol. Ribs were 3D-printed from a photopolymer material based on 3D CT scan images. Representative targeted tissue was comprised of optically transparent alginate or polyacrylamide gels. The system was characterized by hydrophone measurements free-field in water and in the presence of a body wall or rib phantoms. Shocked waveforms with peak positive/negative pressures of +100 / –20 MPa were measured at the focus in a free field at 1 kW electric source power. When ribs were present, shocks formed at about 50% amplitude at the same power, and higher pressures were measured with ribs positioned closer to the transducer. A uniform body wall structure attenuated shock amplitudes by a smaller amount than non-uniform, and the measurements were insensitive to the axial position of the phantom. Signal magnitude loss at the focus for both the rib phantoms and abdominal wall tissue were consistent with results from real tissues. In addition, boiling histotripsy lesions were generated and visualized in the target gels. The results demonstrate that the presence of ribs and absorptive tissue-mimicking layers do not prevent shock formation at the focus. With real-time lesion visualization, the phantom is suitable for adaptation as a training tool.

Rapid ultrasonic stimulation of inflamed tissue with diagnostic intent

McClintic, A.M., T.C. Dickey, M. Gofeld, P.R. Illian, M. Kliot, J.C. Kucewicz, J.D. Loeser, P.G. Richebe, and P.D. Mourad, "Rapid ultrasonic stimulation of inflamed tissue with diagnostic intent," J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 134, 1521-1529, doi:10.1121/1.4812872, 2013.

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1 Aug 2013

Previous studies have observed that individual pulses of intense focused ultrasound (iFU) applied to inflamed and normal tissue can generate sensations, where inflamed tissue responds at a lower intensity than normal tissue. It was hypothesized that successively applied iFU pulses will generate sensation in inflamed tissue at a lower intensity and dose than application of a single iFU pulse. This hypothesis was tested using an animal model of chronic inflammatory pain, created by injecting an irritant into the rat hind paw. Ultrasound pulses were applied in rapid succession or individually to rats' rear paws beginning at low peak intensities and progressing to higher peak intensities, until the rats withdrew their paws immediately after iFU application. Focused ultrasound protocols consisting of successively and rapidly applied pulses elicited inflamed paw withdrawal at lower intensity and estimated tissue displacement values than single pulse protocols. However, both successively applied pulses and single pulses produced comparable threshold acoustic dose values and estimates of temperature increases. This raises the possibility that temperature increase contributed to paw withdrawal after rapid iFU stimulation. While iFU-induction of temporal summation may also play a role, electrophysiological studies are necessary to tease out these potential contributors to iFU stimulation.

Characterizing an agar/gelatin phantom for image guided dosing and feeback control of high-intensity focused ultrasound

Dunmire, B., J.C. Kucewicz, S.B. Mitchell, L.A. Crum, and K.M Sekins, "Characterizing an agar/gelatin phantom for image guided dosing and feeback control of high-intensity focused ultrasound," Ultrasound Med. Biol., 39, 300-311, 2013.

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1 Feb 2013

The temperature dependence of an agar/gelatin phantom was evaluated. The purpose was to predict the material property response to high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for developing ultrasound guided dosing and targeting feedback. Changes in attenuation, sound speed, shear modulus and thermal properties with temperature were examined from 20°C to 70°C for 3 weeks post-manufacture. The attenuation decreased with temperature by a power factor of 0.15. Thermal conductivity, diffusivity and specific heat all increased linearly with temperature for a total change of approximately 16%, 10% and 6%, respectively. Sound speed had a parabolic dependence on temperature similar to that of water. Initially, the shear modulus irreversibly declined with even a slight increase in temperature. Over time, the gel maintained its room temperature shear modulus with moderate heating. A stable phantom was achieved within 2 weeks post-manufacture that possessed quasi-reversible material properties up to nearly 55°C.

More Publications


Non-invasive Cardiac Arrest Monitor Guided by Ultrasound and Impedance Plethymography

Record of Invention Number: 48108

Graham Nichol, Adeyinka Adedipe, John Kucewicz, Pierre Mourad, David Salcido, Matthew Sundermann


28 Jun 2017

Ultrasound Based Method and Apparatus for Stone Detection and to Facilitate Clearance Thereof

Patent Number: 9,597,103

Mike Bailey, John Kucewicz, Barbrina Dunmire, Neil Owen, Bryan Cunitz

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21 Mar 2017

Described herein are methods and apparatus for detecting stones by ultrasound, in which the ultrasound reflections from a stone are preferentially selected and accentuated relative to the ultrasound reflections from blood or tissue. Also described herein are methods and apparatus for applying pushing ultrasound to in vivo stones or other objects, to facilitate the removal of such in vivo objects.

System and Methods for Tracking Finger and Hand Movement Using Ultrasound

Record of Invention Number: 47931

John Kucewicz, Brian MacConaghy, Caren Marzban


10 Jan 2017

More Inventions

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center