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Q about phyiscs of Liposuction (and Sonolumensence)

  1. Oct 4, 2009 #1
    I am kind of new here so I am not sure exactly where else to put this question. If the moderators or admins could think of a better place to move this, I would appreciate it:

    Reading an article by Seth Putterman called "Sonoluminescence: How bubbles turn sound into light"(see **), that he mentioned that one of Sonoluminesence's (abbv. SL's) early uses actually in ultrasonically assisted liposuction
    1. Has any else here heard of SL being involved in process ultrasound in liposuction?
    2. How in terms of process could any ultrasound wave separate the fat from the tissue? Is it due to the shearing, resonance, or osmotic pressure, prehaps?
    3. How does the fat after the ultrasound look like a liquid and not a gas, dust, ash, or solid? In other words what is the residue that they have to suck out of the body and how does the ultrasound cause this to occur instead of burning it.

    If you want to mention SL, that would be nice to talk about the process of how people understand it works in relation to liposuction; however, I do not expect this or the cause since the cause of SL is either still debated or just recently discovered (ie. in the past 5 years).

    *SL = Sonolumensence
    **SJ Putterman, KR Weninger - Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 2000
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2009 #2


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    Simply 'shaking it loose' basically. Friction forces.

    I think you're imagining a much more intense ultrasound than what they actually use. An ultrasound bath of the kind they use in chemistry labs (and in jewelery shops for cleaning) creates strong enough mechanical forces to cause tissue damage if you were to stick your hand in it, but they don't get significantly hot at all.
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