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Oleg Sapozhnikov

Senior Principal Engineer






M.S. Physics, Moscow State University, 1985

Ph.D. Acoustics, Moscow State University, 1988


Ultrasonic tweezers: Technology to lift and steer solid objects in a living body

In a recent paper, a CIMU team describes successful experiments to manipulate a solid object within a living body with ultrasound beams transmitted through the skin.

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15 Jul 2020

A collaborative, international research teams developed and tuned an ultrasound transducer to create vortex shaped beams that can trap, grab, levitate, and move in three dimensions mm-scale objects. The team is working to apply this technology to their all-in-one kidney stone treatment system that, in clinical trials, uses ultrasound to non-invasively break, erode, and move stones and stone fragments out of the kidney so that they may pass naturally from the body.

Mechanical Tissue Ablation with Focused Ultrasound

An experimental noninvasive surgery method uses nonlinear ultrasound pulses to liquefy tissue at remote target sites within a small focal region without damaging intervening tissues. A multi-institution, international team led by CIMU researchers is applying the method to the focal treatment of prostate tumors.

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19 Mar 2020

Boiling histotripsy utilizes sequences of millisecond-duration HIFU pulses with high-amplitude shocks that form at the focus by nonlinear propagation effects. Due to strong attenuation of the ultrasound energy at the shocks, these nonlinear waves rapidly heat tissue and generate millimeter-sized boiling bubbles at the focus within each pulse. Then the further interaction of subsequent shocks with the vapor cavity causes tissue disintegration into subcellular debris through the acoustic atomization mechanism.

The method was proposed at APL-UW in collaboration with Moscow State University (Russia) and now is being evaluated for various clinical applications. It has particular promise because of its important clinical advantages: the treatment of tissue volumes can be accelerated while sparing adjacent structures and not injuring intervening tissues; it generates precisely controlled mechanical lesions with sharp margins; the method can be implemented in existing clinical systems; and it can be used with real-time ultrasound imaging for targeting, guidance, and evaluation of outcomes. In addition, compared to thermal ablation, BH may lead to faster resorption of the liquefied lesion contents.

Characterizing Medical Ultrasound Sources and Fields

For every medical ultrasound transducer it's important to characterize the field it creates, whether for safety of imaging or efficacy of therapy. CIMU researchers measure a 2D acoustic pressure distribution in the beam emanating from the source transducer and then reconstruct mathematically the exact field on the surface of the transducer and in the entire 3D space.

11 Sep 2017

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2000-present and while at APL-UW

'HIFU Beam' A simulator for predicting axially symmetric nonlinear acoustic fields generated by focused transducers in a layered medium

Yuldashev, P.V., M.M. Karzova, W. Kreider, P.B. Rosnitskiy, O.A. Sapozhnikov, and V.A. Khokhlova, "'HIFU Beam' A simulator for predicting axially symmetric nonlinear acoustic fields generated by focused transducers in a layered medium," IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferroelectr. Freq. Control, 68, 2837-2852, doi:10.1109/TUFFC.2021.3074611, 2021.

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1 Sep 2021

'HIFU beam' is a freely available software tool that comprises a MATLAB toolbox combined with a user-friendly interface and binary executable compiled from FORTRAN source code ( HIFU beam . (2021). Available: http://limu.msu.ru/node/3555?language=en ). It is designed for simulating high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) fields generated by single-element transducers and annular arrays with propagation in flat-layered media that mimic biological tissues. Numerical models incorporated in the simulator include evolution-type equations, either the Khokhlov–Zabolotskaya–Kuznetsov (KZK) equation or one-way Westervelt equation, for radially symmetric ultrasound beams in homogeneous and layered media with thermoviscous or power-law acoustic absorption. The software uses shock-capturing methods that allow for simulating strongly nonlinear acoustic fields with high-amplitude shocks. In this article, a general description of the software is given along with three representative simulation cases of ultrasound transducers and focusing conditions typical for therapeutic applications. The examples illustrate major nonlinear wave effects in HIFU fields including shock formation. Two examples simulate propagation in water, involving a single-element source (1-MHz frequency, 100-mm diameter, 90-mm radius of curvature) and a 16-element annular array (3-MHz frequency, 48-mm diameter, and 35-mm radius of curvature). The third example mimics the scenario of a HIFU treatment in a "water-muscle-kidney" layered medium using a source typical for abdominal HIFU applications (1.2-MHz frequency, 120-mm diameter, and radius of curvature). Linear, quasi-linear, and shock-wave exposure protocols are considered. It is intended that 'HIFU beam' can be useful in teaching nonlinear acoustics; designing and characterizing high-power transducers; and developing exposure protocols for a wide range of therapeutic applications such as shock-based HIFU, boiling histotripsy, drug delivery, immunotherapy, and others.

Inertial cavitation behaviors induced by nonlinear focused ultrasound pulses

Bawiec, C.R., P.B. Rosnitskiy, A.T. Peek, A.D. Maxwell, W. Kreider, G.R. Ter Haar, O.A. Sapozhnikov, V.A. Khokhlova, and T.D. Khokhlova, "Inertial cavitation behaviors induced by nonlinear focused ultrasound pulses," IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferroelectr. Freq. Control, 68, 2884-2895, doi:10.1109/TUFFC.2021.3073347, 2021.

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1 Sep 2021

Inertial cavitation induced by pulsed high-intensity focused ultrasound (pHIFU) has previously been shown to successfully permeabilize tumor tissue and enhance chemotherapeutic drug uptake. In addition to HIFU frequency, peak rarefactional pressure, and pulse duration, the threshold for cavitation-induced bioeffects has recently been correlated with asymmetric distortion caused by nonlinear propagation, diffraction and formation of shocks in the focal waveform, and therefore with the transducer F-number. To connect previously observed bioeffects with bubble dynamics and their attendant physical mechanisms, the dependence of inertial cavitation behavior on shock formation was investigated in transparent agarose gel phantoms using high-speed photography and passive cavitation detection (PCD). Agarose phantoms with concentrations ranging from 1.5% to 5% were exposed to 1-ms pulses using three transducers of the same aperture but different focal distances (F-numbers of 0.77, 1.02, and 1.52). Pulses had central frequencies of 1, 1.5, or 1.9 MHz and a range of peak rarefactional pressure at the focus varying within 1–18 MPa. Three distinct categories of bubble behavior were observed as the acoustic power increased: stationary near-spherical oscillation of individual bubbles, proliferation of multiple bubbles along the pHIFU beam axis, and fanned-out proliferation toward the transducer. Proliferating bubbles were only observed under strongly nonlinear or shock-forming conditions regardless of frequency, and only where the bubbles reached a certain threshold size range. In stiffer gels with higher agarose concentrations, the same pattern of cavitation behavior was observed, but the dimensions of proliferating clouds were smaller. These observations suggest mechanisms that may be involved in bubble proliferation: enhanced growth of bubbles under shock-forming conditions, subsequent shock scattering from the gel–bubble interface, causing an increase in the repetitive tension created by the acoustic wave, and the appearance of a new growing bubble in the proximal direction. Different behaviors corresponded to specific spectral characteristics in the PCD signals: broadband noise in all cases, narrow peaks of backscattered harmonics in the case of stationary bubbles, and broadened, shifted harmonic peaks in the case of proliferating bubbles. The shift in harmonic peaks can be interpreted as a Doppler shift from targets moving at speeds of up to 2 m/s, which correspond to the observed bubble proliferation speeds.

Ultrastructural analysis of volumetric histotripsy bio-effects in large human hematomas

Ponomarchuk, E.M., and 12 others including Y.-N. Wang, O.A. Sapozhnikov, and V.A. Khokhlova, "Ultrastructural analysis of volumetric histotripsy bio-effects in large human hematomas," Ultrasound Biol. Med., 47, 2608-2621, doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2021.05.002, 2021.

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1 Sep 2021

Large-volume soft tissue hematomas are a serious clinical problem, which, if untreated, can have severe consequences. Current treatments are associated with significant pain and discomfort. It has been reported that in an in vitro bovine hematoma model, pulsed high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation, termed histotripsy, can be used to rapidly and non-invasively liquefy the hematoma through localized bubble activity, enabling fine-needle aspiration. The goals of this study were to evaluate the efficiency and speed of volumetric histotripsy liquefaction using a large in vitro human hematoma model. Large human hematoma phantoms (85 cc) were formed by recalcifying blood anticoagulated with citrate phosphate dextrose/saline–adenine–glucose–mannitol solution. Typical boiling histotripsy pulses (10 or 2 ms) or hybrid histotripsy pulses using higher-amplitude and shorter pulses (0.4 ms) were delivered at 1% duty cycle while continuously translating the HIFU focus location. Histotripsy exposures were performed under ultrasound guidance with a 1.5-MHz transducer (8-cm aperture, F# = 0.75). The volume of liquefied lesions was determined by ultrasound imaging and gross inspection. Untreated hematoma samples and samples of the liquefied lesions aspirated using a fine needle were analyzed cytologically and ultrastructurally with scanning electron microscopy. All exposures resulted in uniform liquid-filled voids with sharp edges; liquefaction speed was higher for exposures with shorter pulses and higher shock amplitudes at the focus (up to 0.32, 0.68 and 2.62 mL/min for 10-, 2- and 0.4-ms pulses, respectively). Cytological and ultrastructural observations revealed completely homogenized blood cells and fibrin fragments in the lysate. Most of the fibrin fragments were less than 20 μm in length, but a number of fragments were up to 150 μm. The lysate with residual debris of that size would potentially be amenable to fine-needle aspiration without risk for needle clogging in clinical implementation.

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Lithotripsy That Tunes the Frequency to the Stone Size

Record of Invention Number: 49262

Mike Bailey, Adam Maxwell, Oleg Sapozhnikov


12 May 2021

Methods for Separating, Concentrating, and/or Differentiating Between Cells from a Cell Sample

Patent Number: 10,794,827

Tom Matula, Oleg Sapozhnikov, Brian MacConaghy

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6 Oct 2020

Embodiments are generally related to differentiating and/or separating portions of a sample that are of interest from the remainder of the sample. Embodiments may be directed towards separating cells of interest from a cell sample. In some embodiments, acoustic impedances of the cells of interest may be modified. For example, the acoustic properties of the cells of interest may be modified by attaching bubbles to the cells of interest. The cell sample may then be subjected to an acoustic wave. The cells of interest may be differentiated and/or separated from the remainder of the sample based on relative displacements and/or volumetric changes experienced by the cells of interest in response thereto. The cells of interest may be separated using a standing wave and sorted into separate channels of a flow cell. Optionally, the cells may be interrogated by a light source and differentiated by signals generated in response thereto.

Systems and Methods for Measuring Pressure Distributions of Acoustic Beams from Ultrasound Sources

The present technology relates generally to receiving arrays to measure a characteristic of an acoustic beam and associated systems and methods.

Patent Number: 10,598,773

Oleg Sapozhnikov, Wayne Kreider, Adam Maxwell, Vera Khokhlova

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24 Mar 2020

The present technology relates generally to receiving arrays to measure a characteristic of an acoustic beam and associated systems and methods. The receiving arrays can include elongated elements having at least one dimension, such as a length, that is larger than a width of an emitted acoustic beam and another dimension, such as a width, that is smaller than half of a characteristic wavelength of an ultrasound wave. The elongated elements can be configured to capture waveform measurements of the beam based on a characteristic of the emitted acoustic beam as the acoustic beam crosses a plane of the array, such as a transverse plane. The methods include measuring at least one characteristic of an ultrasound source using an array-based acoustic holography system and defining a measured hologram at the array surface based, at least in part, on the waveform measurements. The measured hologram can be processed to reconstruct a characteristic of the ultrasound source. The ultrasound source can be calibrated and/or re-calibrated based on the characteristic.

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