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

2014 Awards of Excellence recognize campus, community contributions

UW News and Information

12 Jun 2014

The University of Washington honored the contributions and achievements of faculty, staff, distinguished alumni and top scholars during the 44th annual Awards of Excellence ceremony Thursday, June 12. Inventors of a revolutionary treatment for kidney stones, the Rolling Stones Team is the first UW team to invent a device and pursue an investigational device exemption from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to test on humans.

Washington–Russian collaboration sends shock waves through focused ultrasound

Newsletter of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation

17 Apr 2014

An alternative method of tissue fractionation — boiling histotripsy — has been developed in a unique collaboration between the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle and Moscow State University (MSU) in Russia.

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.

Recent Papers

Lei, H., et al., including T. Matula, "Stem cell labeling with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles using focused ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging tracking," J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol., 15, 2605-2612, doi:10.1166/jnn.2015.9279, 2015.

1 Apr 2015, Link

Maxwell, A.D., B.W. Cunitz, W. Kreider, O.A. Sapozhnikov, R.S. Hsi, J.D. Harper, M.R. Bailey, and M.D. Sorensen, "Fragmentation of urinary calculi in vitro by burst wave lithotripsy," J. Urol., 193, 338-344, doi:10.1016/j.juro.2014.08.009, 2015.

1 Jan 2015, Link

Li, T., T.D. Khokhlova, O.A. Sapozhnikov, M. O'Donnell, and J.H. Hwang, "A new active cavitation mapping technique for pulsed HIFU applications — bubble Doppler," IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferr., 61, 1698-1708, doi:10.1109/TUFFC.2014.006502, 2014.

1 Oct 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 >>