Accurate characterization of cavitation properties in soft gels and fundamental understanding of the complex cavitation-gel coupling are essential to establish the reliable bounds of

the critical mechanical inputs (acceleration or pressure) that will likely induce cavitation in biological samples. Toward clinically and biologically relevant studies of cavitation, it is still necessary to develop a reasonable in vitro model that biologically and mechanically represents target organs. As an example, neurons can be cultured in 3-dimentional extracellular matrix (ECM) at a specific concentration to match mechanical stiffness of the neuron-ECM system to target brain tissues. Biological studies utilizing such neuron-ECM system would provide heterogeneous cavitation nucleation criteria in brain and shed light on key mechanism(s) in traumatic brain injury.

Selected papers

  • W. Kang* and M. Raphael, Acceleration-induced pressure gradients and cavitation in soft biomaterials, 8, 15840, Scientific Reports, 2018.
  • W. Kang*, A. Adnan, T. O’Shaughnessy, and A. Bagchi, Experiment and Mechanism for Cavitation Nucleation in Soft Materials, 67, 295-306, Acta Biomaterialia, 2018.
  • ​W. Kang*, YC Chen+, A. Bagchi, and T. O’Shaughnessy, Characterization and non-optical detection of cavitation in soft materials using a drop-tower-based integrated system, Review of Scientific Instruments, 2017.