Carbon-nanotube optoacoustic lens for focused ultrasound generation and high-precision targeted therapy

Hyoung Won Baac, Jong G. Ok, Adam Maxwell, Kyu Tae Lee, Yu Chih Chen, A. John Hart, Zhen Xu, Euisik Yoon, L. Jay Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate a new optical approach to generate high-frequency (>15 MHz) and high-amplitude focused ultrasound, which can be used for non-invasive ultrasound therapy. A nano-composite film of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and elastomeric polymer is formed on concave lenses, and used as an efficient optoacoustic source due to the high optical absorption of the CNTs and rapid heat transfer to the polymer upon excitation by pulsed laser irradiation. The CNT-coated lenses can generate unprecedented optoacoustic pressures of >50 MPa in peak positive on a tight focal spot of 75 μm in lateral and 400 μm in axial widths. This pressure amplitude is remarkably high in this frequency regime, producing pronounced shock effects and non-thermal pulsed cavitation at the focal zone. We demonstrate that the optoacoustic lens can be used for micro-scale ultrasonic fragmentation of solid materials and a single-cell surgery in terms of removing the cells from substrates and neighboring cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number989
JournalScientific reports
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support from the National Science grant DMR 1120187, the National Institute of Health, and the University of Michigan. The authors also wish to acknowledge Simone Park for using the high-speed camera. H.W.B. acknowledges the support from the National Institute for International Education through Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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