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Christopher Hunter

Ultrasound Engineer






B.S. Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences, University of Washington, 2015


2000-present and while at APL-UW

Factors affecting tissue cavitation during burst wave lithotripsy

Maxwell, A.D., C. Hunter, B.W. Cunitz, W. Kreider, S. Totten, and Y.-N. Wang, "Factors affecting tissue cavitation during burst wave lithotripsy," Ultrasound Med. Biol., 47, 2286-2295, doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2021.04.021, 2021.

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1 Aug 2021

Burst wave lithotripsy (BWL) is a technology under clinical investigation for non-invasive fragmentation of urinary stones. Under certain ranges of ultrasound exposure parameters, this technology can cause cavitation in tissue leading to renal injury. This study sought to measure the focal pressure amplitude needed to cause cavitation in vivo and determine its consistency in native tissue, in an implanted stone model and under different exposure parameters. The kidneys of eight pigs were exposed to transcutaneous BWL ultrasound pulses. In each kidney, two locations were targeted: the renal sinus and the kidney parenchyma. Each was exposed for 5 min at a set pressure level and parameters, and cavitation was detected using an active cavitation imaging method based on power Doppler ultrasound. The threshold was determined by incrementing the pressure amplitude up or down after each 5-min interval until cavitation occurred/subsided. The pressure thresholds were remeasured postsurgery, targeting an implanted stone or collecting space (in sham). The presence of a stone or sham surgery did not significantly impact the threshold for tissue cavitation. Targeting parenchyma instead of kidney collecting space and lowering the ultrasound pulse repetition frequency both resulted in an increased pressure threshold for cavitation.

A prototype therapy system for boiling histotripsy in abdominal targets based on a 256-element spiral array

Bawiec, C.R., T.D. Khokhlova, O.A Sapozhnikov, P.B. Rosnitskiy, B.W. Cunitz, M.A. Ghanem, C. Hunter, W. Kreider, G.R. Schade, P.V. Yuldashev, and V.A. Khokhlova, "A prototype therapy system for boiling histotripsy in abdominal targets based on a 256-element spiral array," IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferroelectr. Freq. Control, 68, 1496-1510, doi:10.1109/TUFFC.2020.3036580, 2021.

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1 May 2021

Boiling histotripsy (BH) uses millisecond-long ultrasound (US) pulses with high-amplitude shocks to mechanically fractionate tissue with potential for real-time lesion monitoring by US imaging. For BH treatments of abdominal organs, a high-power multielement phased array system capable of electronic focus steering and aberration correction for body wall inhomogeneities is needed. In this work, a preclinical BH system was built comprising a custom 256-element 1.5-MHz phased array (Imasonic, Besançon, France) with a central opening for mounting an imaging probe. The array was electronically matched to a Verasonics research US system with a 1.2-kW external power source. Driving electronics and software of the system were modified to provide a pulse average acoustic power of 2.2 kW sustained for 10 ms with a 1–2-Hz repetition rate for delivering BH exposures. System performance was characterized by hydrophone measurements in water combined with nonlinear wave simulations based on the Westervelt equation. Fully developed shocks of 100-MPa amplitude are formed at the focus at 275-W acoustic power. Electronic steering capabilities of the array were evaluated for shock-producing conditions to determine power compensation strategies that equalize BH exposures at multiple focal locations across the planned treatment volume. The system was used to produce continuous volumetric BH lesions in ex vivo bovine liver with 1-mm focus spacing, 10-ms pulselength, five pulses/focus, and 1% duty cycle.

Bilayer aberration-inducing gel phantom for high intensity focused ultrasound applications

Peek, A.T., C. Hunter, W. Kreider, T.D. Khokhlova, P.B. Rosnitskiy, P.V. Yuldashev, O.A. Sapozhnikov, and V.A. Khokhlova, "Bilayer aberration-inducing gel phantom for high intensity focused ultrasound applications," J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 148, 3569-3580, doi:10.1121/10.0002877, 2020.

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1 Dec 2020

Aberrations induced by soft tissue inhomogeneities often complicate high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapies. In this work, a bilayer phantom made from polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel and ballistic gel was built to mimic alternating layers of water-based and lipid tissues characteristic of an abdominal body wall and to reproducibly distort HIFU fields. The density, sound speed, and attenuation coefficient of each material were measured using a homogeneous gel layer. A surface with random topographical features was designed as an interface between gel layers using a 2D Fourier spectrum approach and replicating different spatial scales of tissue inhomogeneities. Distortion of the field of a 256-element 1.5 MHz HIFU array by the phantom was characterized through hydrophone measurements for linear and nonlinear beam focusing and compared to the corresponding distortion induced by an ex vivo porcine body wall of the same thickness. Both spatial shift and widening of the focal lobe were observed, as well as dramatic reduction in focal pressures caused by aberrations. The results suggest that the phantom produced levels of aberration that are similar to a real body wall and can serve as a research tool for studying HIFU effects as well as for developing algorithms for aberration correction.

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Audio Feedback for Improving the Accuracy of BWL Targeting

Record of Invention Number: 48254

Mike Bailey, Bryan Cunitz, Barbrina Dunmire, Christopher Hunter, Wayne Kreider, Adam Maxwell, Yak-Nam Wang


25 Jan 2018

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