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Focused Ultrasound Therapy

Focused ultrasound is a noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with osteopenia (weak bones) and its more severe form, osteoporosis. 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, focused ultrasound produces several therapeutic effects that are being evaluated. One is the heating of tissue, and a second is direct physical effects that result in improving bone production. A third is therapeutic delivery of bone strengthening components. While significant preclinical work has been accomplished, there is still much to be done before this technology will be widely available.

The primary options for treatment of osteopenia are limited, and include medication and potentially surgery.

For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications – such as surgical wound healing or infection – at a lower cost. It can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue and is repeatable, if necessary.

Clinical Trials

At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound treatment of osteopenia. 

Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement

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

Notable Papers

Song, B., Park, J., Kim, B. et al. A Combinational Therapy of Articular Cartilage Defects: Rapid and Effective Regeneration by Using Low-Intensity Focused Ultrasound After Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem Cell Transplantation. Tissue Eng Regen Med (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13770-020-00256-6

Bucknor M, Reike V, Seo Y, Horvai A, Hawkins R, Majumdar S, Link T, Saeed M. Bone Remodeling after MR Imaging–guided High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation: Evaluation with MR Imaging, CT, Na18F-PET, and Histopathologic Examination in a Swine Model. Radiology: Volume 274: Number 2—February 2015

Padilla F, Puts R, Vico L, Raum K. Stimulation of bone repair with ultrasound: A review of the possible mechanic effects. Ultrasonics 54 (2014) 1125–1145

Wilson CG, Martín-Saavedra FM, Padilla F, Fabiilli ML, Zhang M, Baez AM, Bonkowski CJ, Kripfgans OD, Voellmy R, Vilaboa N, Fowlkes JB, Franceschi RT. Patterning expression of regenerative growth factors using high intensity focused ultrasound. Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2014 Oct;20(10):769-79. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2013.0518. Epub 2014 Mar 11. PMID: 24460731

Click here for additional references from PubMed.

Early Stage