Physics of a Spark Wave®
.Spark Waves are especially effective shock waves that are generated by means of a spark discharge. In physical terms, Spark Waves are acoustic waves with a brief rise time of a few nanoseconds (10-9 ns), which are characterized by a pulse of positive pressure followed by a phase of negative pressure.
The shorter the rise time and the lower the tensile pressure, the better the quality of the Spark Wave and the more efficient it stimulates valuable regeneration and healing mechanisms at the cellular level.
According to Rompe (1997) “Acoustic energy is defined not only by the positive pressure, but also by the negative pressure. The decisive parameter for adverse effects is the negative pressure. It is responsible for pain and tissue damage by cavitation”.
Coptcoat et al. (1987) support Rompe’s statement by declaring that „There should be a very low content of tensile waves since this is a possible source of tissue damage as we know from the biological effects of ultrasound.“ In other words, the lower the tensile pressure of a Spark Wave, the fewer the side effects.
The most important quality features of a Spark Wave:
- Very short rise time
- High positive peak pressure
- Low tensile pressure
Generating mechanism of a Spark Wave®
Spark Waves are created by means of a high-energy electrical discharge in water. The voltage is discharged between the opposing tips (plus and minus pole) of an electrode. The arcing or so-called spark gap causes an equalization of voltage between the two tips of the electrode whereby a hot plasma bubble is created. This bubble explodes in all directions, compresses the surrounding water and generates a pressure > 10 MPa within only a few nanoseconds (10-9 ns).
The released Spark Wave energy is focused to various degrees by means of different reflector types. The more the Spark Wave energy is focused, the deeper its healing effects can be guided into the treated tissue. Dependent on the therapeutic field, MTS Spark Wave medical devices are equipped with a focused, soft-focused or unfocused reflector.
MTS Advanced Spark Wave Technology & SmarTrode
MTS has redefined the spark gap technology, equipped with unique performance characteristics. The patented Advanced Spark Wave technology (ASWT) reduces the tensile pressure of the Spark Waves to a minimum (< 15 %) and in turn generates Spark Waves of highest therapeutic efficacy with very little side effect potential.
The specially developed SmarTrode electrode facilitates a unique dynamic range and combines the advantages of low energy Spark Wave technology with those of the high energy Spark Wave generation. It automatically adjusts itself to the set level of output power guaranteeing an optimized, constant Spark Wave energy.