The Patient

A 15-year-old female diagnosed with a benign brain tumor called a hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) presented to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida, in 2019.

Teams in Korea and China are conducting preclinical research on low-intensity focused ultrasound’s ability to help regenerate cartilage and relieve pain from soft tissue injuries.

Enhanced Detection of Bubble Emissions Through the Intact Spine for Monitoring Ultrasound-Mediated Blood-Spinal Cord Barrier Opening

Stock spine illustrationA team at Sunnybrook Research Institute, led by Meaghan O'Reilly, PhD, has begun to use focused ultrasound plus microbubbles to open the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB). The group recently discovered that microbubble emissions from short burst, phase keying (SBPK) focused ultrasound applications, which were previously studied to mitigate standing waves in the vertebral canal, are also effective for opening the BSCB. The preclinical study used a “pulse inversion” technique that, when combined with SBPK focused ultrasound, produced a clinically relevant pulse scheme. Could noninvasively opening the BSCB lead to novel drug delivery techniques? See IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering >
Computationally Efficient Transcranial Ultrasonic Focusing: Taking Advantage of the High Correlation Length of the Human Skull

Aubry skull correction video smBefore a patient can undergo focused ultrasound brain treatment, the medical team must assess the structure of the skull bone, and this is done using a CT scan. The reason for this test is that ultrasound does not travel in a direct path through bone: the skull distorts the ultrasound waves. Focusing the ultrasound, therefore, depends on calculating the degree of the distortions and then correcting them. Every bit of improvement in the accuracy of the calculation could be beneficial to the patient, and researchers are working on increasingly refined calculations. Advanced computer simulations now take into account not only the thickness but also the detailed internal structure of the skull bone, but the three-dimensional calculations typically take about two hours. Now, researchers at Physics for Medicine Paris have developed and tested a novel method that can complete the calculation in as little as 30 seconds. After validating the method on several different skulls, the only question that remains is how quickly it can be translated to a clinical setting. See IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control >

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