Acoustic and mechanical properties of artificial stones in comparison to natural kidney stones.
PURPOSE: Standardized and reproducible artificial kidney stone models are important for performing comparative studies of different lithotripsy modalities. The acoustic and mechanical properties of renal calculi dictate the manner by which stones interact with the mechanical stresses produced by shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) or intracorporeal lithotripsy modalities. We have developed a novel artificial kidney stone model that is made of natural substances found in real kidney stones. These stone models appear to be much closer in physical properties to natural kidney stones than previously used stone models. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The acoustic and mechanical properties of six groups of artificial stone models were compared to corresponding natural stones of similar compositions. Moreover, three groups of artificial stone models made of plaster-of-Paris were compared to their natural counterparts. In terms of acoustic properties, stone density was measured using a pycnometer based on Archimedes' principle, whereas longitudinal and transverse (or shear) wave propagation speeds were measured using an ultrasound pulse transmission technique. These values were used to calculate wave impedance and dynamic mechanical properties (bulk modulus, Young's modulus, and shear modulus) of the stones. The microhardness of the stones was measured and the effect of composition on stone fragility was evaluated. RESULTS: Artificial stones, when compared to natural stones of similar composition, showed similar trends in longitudinal and transverse wave speeds, wave impedance, and dynamic elastic moduli. However, values for the artificial stones were uniformly low compared to those of natural stones, suggesting that these artificial stones may be more amenable to shock wave fragmentation. The results of SWL on stone fragmentation of artificial and natural stones also revealed similar trends with the exception of artificial cystine stones which were found to be the most resistant to shock wave fragmentation. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that the physical properties of artificial stones made of natural stone materials are comparable to renal calculi of the same chemical composition. The data suggests that these stone phantoms are suitable for performing standardized and reproducible in vitro investigations, especially with regards to fragility of kidney stones of different chemical compositions during SWL.
Heimbach, D; Munver, R; Zhong, P; Jacobs, J; Hesse, A; Müller, SC; Preminger, GM
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