Modeling the interaction of microbubbles: Effects of proximity, confinement, and excitation amplitude.
The interaction of closely spaced microbubbles (MBs) exposed to a transient external pressure field is relevant for a variety of industrial and medical applications. We present a computational framework employing an interface tracking approach to model the transient dynamics of multiple, interacting, insonated MBs in arbitrary settings. In particular, this technique allows studying the effects of mutual proximity, confinement, and variations in excitation amplitude on the translatory motion of pairs of differently sized MBs. Domains of mutual repulsion or attraction are observed for closely spaced MBs in the investigated range of excitation frequencies. The repulsion domain widens and shifts to lower frequencies with increasing excitation pressure amplitude. When the MBs are confined in rigid tubes of decreasing diameters, we observe a shift of the translatory patterns towards lower frequencies, accompanied by a change in relative strength of the two translation modes. This effect is correlated to a decrease of the resonance frequency due to confinement which causes changes in oscillation amplitude and phase shift between the bubble vibrations. Coupling to the viscous host liquid gives rise to phenomena such as collective MB drift, non-symmetric attraction or repulsion, and reversal of translation direction. A system comprising six MBs inside a narrow tube highlights the potential of the computational framework to treat complex setups with multiple bubbles.Download Article