Carbon nanotube (CNT) embedded into a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layer has recently been shown to generate shock wave up to 70 MPa for peak positive pressure within tens of nanosecond with a few tens of mJ of laser energy [Baac et al 2012, Lee et al. 2016]. The shock wave produces about 10 MPa negative peak pressure and generates cavitation from a single CNT transducer without heat generation. This laser-generated focused ultrasound (lgFUS) has never been applied to transcranial focused ultrasound (tcFUS) applications. Our preliminary experiments showed high peak positive pressure up to a few hundred kPa at 300-400 kHz of center frequency through human skull cadaver by a single-element, focused CNT-PDMS transducer. This proof-of-concept research using the CNT-PDMS transducer in tcFUS applications is to investigate its ability to generate high pressure through the skull. With focused single element CNT-PDMS transducers, we will investigate to generate the high peak negative and positive pressure through human skull cadaver. With multiple elements, we will explore how the shock waves can be focused constructively and whether high peak negative pressure can be reached for cavitation of a single bubble or bubbles like histotripsy. We will also inspect the treatment envelope near the thalamus and toward skull with this shock wave. Through this research about lgFUS, the brain applications of FUS would be expanded to the areas of neuro-stimulation, neuro-modulation, and neuro-immunotherapy.
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