Review of Scientific Instruments
Bubbles induced by blast waves or shocks are speculated to be the major cause of damages in biological cells in mild traumatic brain injuries. Microbubble collapse was found to induce noticeable cell detachment from the cell substrate, changes in focal adhesion and biomechanics. To better understand the bubble mechanism, we would like to construct a system, which allows us to clearly differentiate the impact of bubbles from that of shocks. Such a generator needs to be low profile in order to place under a microscope. A piezoelectric transducer system was designed to meet the need. The system uses either a flat or a spherical focusing piezoelectric transducer to produce microbubbles in a cuvette loaded with cell-culture medium. The transducer is placed on the side of the cuvette with its axis lining horizontally. A cover slip is placed on the top of the cuvette. The impact of the waves to the cells is minimized as the cover slip is parallel to the direction of the wave. Only bubbles from the medium reach the cover slip and interact with cells. The effect of bubbles therefore can be separated that of pressure waves. The bubbles collected on a cover slip range in size from 100 μm to 10 μm in radius, but the dominant size is 20-30 μm.
Original Publication Citation
Zhu, W., Alkhazal, M., Cho, M., & Xiao, S. (2015). Microbubble generation by piezotransducer for biological studies. Review of Scientific Instruments, 86(124901), 1-7. doi:10.1063/1.4936555
Zhu, W.; Alkhazal, M.; Cho, M.; and Xiao, S., "Microbubble Generation by Piezotransducer for Biological Studies" (2015). Bioelectrics Publications. 138.