Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is a rapidly evolving, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients who are infected or who are at risk for infection because of foreign bodies (FB) that are present in their body. Infectious agents can infect FB or can produce biofilms that coat the surface of the FB and allow adherence of the infection to the biofilm, either of which can cause serious adverse impact to the patient. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets deep in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue.
How it Works
Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of the target) potentially enabling biofilms and/or infection to be treated without surgery. Another option is to use focused ultrasound’s ability to temporarily open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and allow therapeutic agents to treat infectious agents in the brain. Work is planned to insert CRISPR/Cas-9 aimed at targeting intracranial HIV. While significant work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.
The primary options for treatment of infection of FBs include medication or surgery to remove the FB.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications – including surgical wound healing – at a lower cost. It can also reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue and is repeatable, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of infection or biofilms.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound treatment for infection or biofilms is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
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