Fall 2017

The Physics and Biology of Ultrasound

Listed in: Biochemistry-Biophysics, as BCBP-240  |  Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-240


Martin Viklund (Section 01)


(Offered as PHYS 240 and BCBP 240)  Why is ultrasound the most commonly used imaging technology used at clinics and hospitals? What happens at the biological level when ultrasound interacts with living matter? How can ultrasound be used for gentle imaging purposes, but also for disrupting cell membranes, bursting blood clots and breaking kidney stones? What other biological applications of ultrasound exist in modern research? We will answer these questions and more by first studying the theory and principles of acoustic waves at higher frequencies, including related phenomena such as acoustic streaming, acoustic radiation forces and cavitation, followed by a walk-through of modern biologically relevant applications of ultrasound. We will also introduce a novel research area called microscale acoustofluidics, where ultrasound is applied to microfluidic systems with applications in, for example, cellular separation, enrichment, isolation and tissue engineering.

Requisite: PHYS 116/123, PHYS 117/124, and MATH 111, or evidence of equivalent coverage in pre-collegiate courses. Fall semester. Stint Fellow Viklund.


2021-22: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2017