The Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound (CIMU) is a world-class leader in ultrasound research and development.

Our talented multidisciplinary staff of physicists, mathematicians, engineers, technicians, and students works with a wide variety of researchers and medical professionals around the world to advance the expansion of the field.

CIMU staff (click image for enlargement)

These relationships are enhanced by many industry partnerships and help to foster CIMU's mission of research collaboration, development and commercialization of technology, and training and education of students and professionals.


  • Foster research collaborations between UW faculty and their industrial partners on industrial and medical ultrasound projects
  • Develop industrial and medical ultrasound technology, including instruments, techniques, ideas and products that have value to our society
  • Form partnerships with industry that enable this technology to be transferred to the commercial sector
  • Educate and train students and technical professionals working in the fields of industrial and medical ultrasound


  • High intensity focused ultrasound
  • Acoustic hemostasis
  • Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy
  • Nonlinear acoustics
  • Sonoluminescence

Tom Matula, Director

What's New?

Flow cytometry techniques are advancing ultrasound contrast agent science and therapeutics. A hybrid instrument — an off-the-shelf flow cytometer combined with an acoustic transducer — counts, sizes, and measures microbubble viscosity and elasticity at megahertz frequencies. More >>

SonoMotion: A budding start-up company to transition advanced research to an approved ultrasound-based system that treats kidney stone disease in hospitals and clinics around the world.   More >>

CIMU is imaging high-speed oscillating micro-bubbles in small blood vessels and observing how the bubble oscillations might help induce permeation, allowing drugs to be transported across that barrier and significantly improve uptake.   More >>

In the News

Trial to test using ultrasound to move kidney stones

UW News and Information,

10 Jan 2014

A new device developed at the University of Washington would let doctors use ultrasound to move kidney stones inside the body and help them pass by natural means.

Doctors using new technology to treat kidney stones

KING 5 News (Seattle)

10 Jan 2014

Kidney stones: one in five of us will get them at some point, and high protein diets might add to your risk. But doctors are now using 21st century technology to control this ancient condition.

Molecular imaging and therapy center to develop, commercialize technologies

UW Today,

1 Nov 2010

Ultrasound, best known by many for snapping pictures of babies before they are born, could soon be a way to spot cancerous cells before a tumor develops, precisely monitor how a person responds to treatment, or deliver genetic therapies to their targets.

Recent Papers

Wang, Y.-N., J.C. Simon, B.W. Cunitz, F.L. Starr, M. Paun, D.H. Liggitt, A.P. Evan, J.A. McAteer, Z. Liu, B. Dunmire, and M.R. Bailey, "Focused ultrasound to displace renal calculi: Threshold for tissue injury," J. Therapeut. Ultrasound, 2, doi:10.1186/2050-5736-2-5, 2014.

31 Mar 2014, Link

Maxwell, A.D., R.S. Hsi, M.R. Bailey, P. Casale, and T.S. Lendvay, "Noninvasive ureterocele puncture using pulsed focused ultrasound: An in vitro study," J. Endourol., 28, 342-346, doi:10.1098/end.2013.0528, 2014.

1 Mar 2014, Link

Connors, B.A., A.P. Evan, P.M. Blomgren, R.S. Hsi, J.D. Harper, M.D. Sorensen, Y.-N. Wang, J.C. Simon, M. Paun, F. Starr, B.W. Cunitz, M.R. Bailey, and J.E. Lingeman, "Comparison of tissue injury from focused ultrasonic propulsion of kidney stones versus extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy," J. Urol., 191, 235-241, doi:10.1016/j.juro.2013.07.087, 2014.

1 Jan 2014, Link

Educational Opportunities

Graduate and undergraduate students who wish to study ultrasound technology and science at the Applied Physics Laboratory work with CIMU advisors who have joint appointments in UW academic departments.  More >>