Inertial microcavitation, the formation and collapse of micron to millimeter-sized bubbles, is a widely found phenomenon across engineering and life sciences. Examples include cancer ablation therapies using focused ultrasound histotripsy procedures or spontaneous formation in ballistic, blast, or directed energy events. Within these various applications, a fundamental understanding of the finite deformation behavior of the soft material (e.g., tissue) during cavitation is paramount for quantitative predictions of material failure, damage, and cellular injury for living tissues.
Here, we provide a new experimental-numerical approach for resolving the high strain-rate full-field material response of gelatin due to a laser-induced cavitation event by combining three broad techniques: embedded speckle plane DIC; spatiotemporal adaptive quad-tree mesh DIC; and inertial cavitation rheology. This study has resulted in the full-field measurement of the temporal evolution of subsurface deformation, strain, stress, pressure, and volumetric expansion of the surrounding material during cavitation. The use of gelatin defines a commonly used soft tissue surrogate material, however, the approach featured here should be general enough to employ on various soft materials and biological tissues.