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Discovering micro-fluidic flow patterns of phacoemulsification probes operating in a transversal, axial, and elliptical motion

Session Details

Session Title: Phaco Techniques

Session Date/Time: Saturday 05/10/2013 | 08:30-10:30

Paper Time: 10:08

Venue: Main Lecture Hall (Ground Floor)

First Author: : J.Zacharias CHILE

Co Author(s): :                  

Abstract Details


To capture and describe details of acoustic streaming and the localized, micro-fluidic patterns produced during the operation of transversal, axial, and elliptical phacoemulsification probes.


Pasteur Ophthalmic Clinic, Santiago, Chile


High-speed video of a vibrating phacoemulsification tip were recorded while operated in transversal, axial, and elliptical modalities at variable ultrasonic power. Techniques utilizing a high intensity spotlight source were used for illumination. Neutrally-buoyant glass and polystyrene beads were seeded into the liquid media to trace flow behavior. These motions were further quantified using particle image velocimetry methods.


Elliptical motion produces movement of the tip that combines longitudinal and lateral motions relative to the tip axis. With respect to fluid dynamic characterization, longitudinal vibration of the tip produced bursts of forward-directed acoustic streaming while simultaneous transversal or lateral vibration produced a micro-fluidic streaming at a discrete angle relative to the tip’s shaft axis. The combination of the two created a unique flow pattern previously undocumented. Other video methods produced a “streak” of motion that confirmed that the actual motion of the tip is elliptical and planar (only in 2-dimensions).


By utilizing higher-than-normal video speeds, particle imaging and velocimetry reveal high detail aspects of bead-seeded fluid motions. This technique contributed to a better understanding of the flow behavior surrounding a phacoemulsifying tip operating in a transversal, axial, and elliptical motion. Observing this unique interaction is relevant to phaco understanding, especially when it comes to material followability, lens-to-tip chatter, and overall lens removal efficiencies.

Financial Interest:

... research is funded, fully or partially, by a company producing, developing or supplying the product or procedure presented, ... research is funded, fully or partially, by a competing company

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