Ultrasonic transmission in viscoelastic substances

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2000 Feb;26(2):282-6. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(99)00361-2.


Purpose: To study the propagation of ultrasonic shock waves in viscoelastic agents and the resulting corneal load.

Setting: University Siegen, Institute for Mechanics and Control Engineering, Siegen, Germany.

Methods: The anterior chamber of a manufactured artificial eye was constructed according to anatomic dimensions. Three openings were drilled--for the phaco tip, for the exchange of a viscoelastic agent or water, and for the shock-wave sensor. The sensor was fixed to the area corresponding to the corneal apex. The sensor signal was analyzed using a direct oscilloscope that measured the amplitude reaching the corneal apex. Shock-wave propagation in several viscoelastic agents was compared with that in balanced salt solution.

Results: In hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, the shock wave was amplified or influenced slightly. In hyaluronic-acid preparations, acoustic dampening occurred.

Conclusion: Removal of hyaluronic-acid derivatives prior to phacoemulsification is not necessary.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Chamber / diagnostic imaging*
  • Body Temperature
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / chemistry*
  • Hypromellose Derivatives
  • Injections
  • Methylcellulose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methylcellulose / chemistry
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Ultrasonics*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Hypromellose Derivatives
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Methylcellulose
  • Chondroitin Sulfates