I thought about posting this question in the Biology StackExchange site but really it is just the application of my question that applies to biology not the core of the question itself.

Can anyone help me find the math involved in modeling acoustic lubrication? My goal is to investigate whether it could be employed as a strategy to ease the passing of kidney stones which are extremely painful and can take days to pass. It would seem that if you could successfully achieve acoustic lubrication of a kidney stone that it might significantly reduce the time it takes for the kidney stone to travel down the ureter.

I found this which may help:

The sound speeds were 4270 ± 80 m/s for calcium hydrogen diphosphate, 4320 ± 40 m/s for cystine, and 4330 ± 50 m/s for calcium oxalate monohydrate. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2913873/

Also the size range in question would be diameters ranging from 1mm to 5mm. Stones much larger than that are not considered passable.

I believe the challenge lies in the fact that the kidney stone may have a significant percentage of its surface in contact with the ureter walls so acoustic lubrication may not even be achievable, but I think it is worth investigating.

  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't help your cause, but haven't you heard of using controlled sound waves to destroy kidney stones? It's a very new technology and I believe it will be prominent in the next few years as the technology is spread. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah I know about shockwave lithotripsy. It has been around since the '80s $\endgroup$
    – Allen
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 21:53
  • $\begingroup$ Well a firm I'm interning at constructs special medical beds designed for shockwave therapy and they were telling me in particular about recent advancements in destroying pretty much all large sized kidney stones. Has not been implemented to hospital market yet tho. It's quite expensive I believe, so maybe is your method is cheap it's worth investigating $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 7:30


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