The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a devastating lung disease in which bacterial infections cause disruption of the blood-gas barrier, flooding and occlusion of pulmonary airways. Patients with ARDS must be placed on a mechanical ventilator to survive. Unfortunately, these ventilators also exacerbate the existing lung injury and as a result the mortality for ARDS is high (∼30–40%). Experimental studies [1,2,3] indicate that the hydrodynamic forces generated during microbubble flows can cause cell death, further barrier disruption and the up-regulation of inflammatory cascades.

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