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Urol Res. 2005 Dec;33(6):429-34.

Ultracal-30 gypsum artificial stones for research on the mechanisms of stone breakage in shock wave lithotripsy.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, 635 Barnhill Dr. MS-5055, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5120, USA.


Artificial stones are used in research on the mechanisms of stone breakage in shock wave lithotripsy (SWL) and in assessing lithotripter performance. We have adopted Ultracal-30 gypsum as a model, finding it suitable for SWL studies in vitro, acute animal experiments in which stones are implanted in the kidney, and as a target to compare the in vitro performance of intracorporeal lithotripters. Here we describe the preparation of U-30 stones, their material properties, shock wave (SW) breakage characteristics, and methods used for quantitation of stone fragmentation with this model. Ultracal-30 gypsum cement was mixed 1:1 with water, cast in plastic multi-well plates, then, the stones were liberated by dissolving the plastic with chloroform and stored under water. Stone breakage in SWL was assessed by several methods including measures of the increase in projected surface area of SW-treated stones. Breakage of hydrated stones showed a linear increase in fragment area with increased SW-number and SW-voltage. Stones stored in water for an extended time showed reduced fragility. Dried stones could be rehydrated so that breakage was not different from stones that had never been dry, but stones rehydrated for less than 96 h showed increased fragility to SWs. The physical properties of U-30 stones place them in the range reported for natural stones. U-30 stones in vitro and in vivo showed equivalent response to SW-rate, with approximately 200% greater fragmentation at 30 SW/min compared to 120 SW/min, suggesting that the mechanisms of SW action are similar under both conditions. U-30 stones provide a convenient, reproducible model for SWL research.

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