Focused Ultrasound Therapy

Clinical Trials SquareFocused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with diabetes. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces a variety of biological effects enabling diabetes to be treated without surgery. Precise thermal ablation of the omentum (for better control of blood sugar) and ultrasound-enhanced delivery of drugs to treat the disease are being investigated as potential new therapies. While significant pre-clinical work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.

The primary options for treatment of diabetes include medication.

For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a non-nvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.


  • Focused ultrasound is noninvasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
  • Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
  • It can be repeated, if necessary.

Clinical Trials

At the present time, there is a clinical trial using focused ultrasound to stimulate the vagus nerve and reduce glycemia.

See a list of laboratory research sites >

Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement

Focused ultrasound treatment for diabetes is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.

Notable Papers

Victoria Cotero, Ying Fan, Tea Tsaava, Adam M. Kressel, Ileana Hancu, Paul Fitzgerald, Kirk Wallace, Sireesha Kaanumalle, John Graf, Wayne Rigby, Tzu-Jen Kao, Jeanette Roberts, Chitresh Bhushan, Suresh Joel, Thomas R. Coleman, Stavros Zanos, Kevin J. Tracey, Jeffrey Ashe, Sangeeta S Chavan, Christopher Puleo. Noninvasive sub-organ ultrasound stimulation for targeted neuromodulation. Nature Communications. March 2019, volume 10, Article number: 952.

Winter PM, Lanier M, Partanen A, Dumoulin C. Initial investigation of a novel noninvasive weight loss therapy using MRI-Guided high intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) of visceral fat. Magn Reson Med. 2016 Jul;76(1):282-9. doi: 10.1002/mrm.25883. Epub 2015 Aug 18.

Di J1, Price J, Gu X, Jiang X, Jing Y, Gu Z. Ultrasound-Triggered Regulation of Blood Glucose Levels Using Injectable Nano-Network. Adv Healthc Mater. 2013 Nov 19. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201300490.

Saedi N, Kaminer M. New waves for fat reduction: high-intensity focused ultrasound. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013;32(1):26-30.

Jewell ML, Desilets C, Smoller BR. Evaluation of a novel high-intensity focused ultrasound device: preclinical studies in a porcine model. Aesthet Surg J. 2011;31(4):429-34.

Milleo FQ, Campos AC, Santoro S, Lacombe A, Santo MA, Vicari MR, Nogaroto V, Artoni RF. Metabolic effects of an entero-omentectomy in mildly obese type 2 diabetes mellitus patients after three years. Clinics (Sao Paolo). 2011;66(7):1227-33.

Fabbrini E, Tamboli RA, Magkos F, Marks-Shulman PA, Eckhauser AW, Richards WO, Klein S, Abumrad NN. Surgical removal of omental fat does not improve insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular risk factors in obese adults. Gastroenterology. 2010;139(2):448-55.

Click here for additional references from PubMed.

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