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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

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.

Effect of stiffness of large extravascular hematomas on their susceptibility to boiling histotripsy liquefaction in vitro

Khokhlova, T.D., J.C. Kucewicz, E.M. Ponomarchuk, C. Hunter, M. Bruce, V.A. Khokhlova, T.J. Matula, and W. Monsky, "Effect of stiffness of large extravascular hematomas on their susceptibility to boiling histotripsy liquefaction in vitro," Ultrasound Med. Biol., 46, 2007-2016, doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.04.023, 2020.

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1 Aug 2020

Large intra-abdominal, retroperitoneal and intramuscular hematomas are common consequences of sharp and blunt trauma and post-surgical bleeds, and often threaten organ failure, compartment syndrome or spontaneous infection. Current therapy options include surgical evacuation and placement of indwelling drains that are not effective because of the viscosity of the organized hematoma. We have previously reported the feasibility of using boiling histotripsy (BH) — a pulsed high-intensity focused ultrasound method — for liquefaction of large volumes of freshly coagulated blood and subsequent fine-needle aspiration. The goal of this work was to evaluate the changes in stiffness of large coagulated blood volumes with aging and retraction in vitro, and to correlate these changes with the size of the BH void and, therefore, the susceptibility of the material to BH liquefaction. Large-volume (55–200 mL) whole-blood clots were fabricated in plastic molds from human and bovine blood, either by natural clotting or by recalcification of anticoagulated blood, with or without addition of thrombin. Retraction of the clots was achieved by incubation for 3 h, 3 d or 8 d. The shear modulus of the samples was measured with a custom-built indentometer and shear wave elasticity (SWE) imaging. Sizes of single liquefied lesions produced with a 1.5-MHz high-intensity focused ultrasound transducer within a 30-s standard BH exposure served as the metric for susceptibility of clot material to this treatment. Neither the shear moduli of naturally clotted human samples (0.52 ± 0.08 kPa), nor their degree of retraction (ratio of expelled fluid to original volume 50%––58%) depended on the length of incubation within 0–8 d, and were significantly lower than those of bovine samples (2.85 ± 0.17 kPa, retraction 5%–38%). In clots made from anticoagulated bovine blood, the variation of calcium chloride concentration within 5––40 mmol/L did not change the stiffness, whereas lower concentrations and the addition of thrombin resulted in significantly softer clots, similar to naturally clotted human samples. Within the achievable shear modulus range (0.4–1.6 kPa), the width of the BH-liquefied lesion was more affected by the changes in stiffness than the length of the lesion. In all cases, however, the lesions were larger compared with any soft tissue liquefied with the same BH parameters, indicating higher susceptibility of hematomas to BH damage. These results suggest that clotted bovine blood with added thrombin is an acceptable in vitro model of both acute and chronic human hematomas for assessing the efficiency of BH liquefaction strategies.

Impact of stone type on caviation in burst wave lithotripsy

Hunter, C., A.D. Maxwell, B. Cunitz, B. Dunmire, M.D. Sorensen, J.C. Williams Jr., A. Randad, M. Bailey, and W. Kreider, "Impact of stone type on caviation in burst wave lithotripsy," Proc. Mtgs. Acoust., 35, 020005, doi:10.1121/2.0000950, 2018.

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26 Dec 2018

Proceedings, 176th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, 5-9 November 2018, Victoria, BC, Canada.

Non-invasive kidney stone treatments such as shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) and burst wave lithotripsy (BWL) rely on the delivery of pressure waves through tissue to the stone. In both SWL and BWL, the potential to hinder comminution by exciting cavitation proximal to the stone has been reported. To elucidate how different stones alter prefocal cavitation in BWL, different natural and synthetic stones were treated in vitro using a therapy transducer operating at 350 kHz (peak negative pressure 7 MPa, pulse length 20 cycles, pulse repetition frequency 10 Hz). Stones were held in a confined volume of water designed to mimic the geometry of a kidney calyx, with the water filtered and degassed to maintain conditions for which the cavitation threshold (in the absence of a stone) matches that from in vivo observations. Stone targeting and cavitation monitoring were performed via ultrasound imaging using a diagnostic probe aligned coaxially with the therapy transducer. Quantitative differences in the extent and location of cavitation activity were observed for different stone types — e.g., stones (natural and synthetic) that are known to be porous produced larger prefocal cavitation clouds. Ongoing work will focus on correlation of such cavitation metrics with stone fragmentation.

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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