- Researchers designed, built, and tested a new focused ultrasound neuromodulation system for preclinical brain research.
- The 64-element ultrasound array is controlled by electronic steering to target any region of the brain.
With the goal of developing new treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders, a collaborative group of researchers designed, built, and tested a new focused ultrasound neuromodulation system for preclinical brain research. The interdisciplinary team based at Stanford University worked with the Seattle-based company Sonic Concepts (an ultrasound device vendor) to create a miniaturized system that can be used for brain research in awake rats.
This work was led by Raag Airan, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiology (neuroimaging and neurointervention), psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and materials science and engineering at Stanford University, and Tommaso Di Ianni, PhD, who completed his postdoctoral training on ultrasound technologies for functional neuroimaging and image-guided neuromodulation under Dr. Airan and is now assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and radiology and biomedical imaging at the University of California, San Francisco.
The 64-element ultrasound array is controlled by electronic steering to target any region of the rat brain.
“To provide a system that could electronically steer an ultrasound focus to near any point of the awake and freely mobile rat brain, we worked with Sonic Concepts to develop, implement, and validate this system. We are incredibly pleased with its performance in enabling high-throughput ultrasound neuromodulatory protocol evaluations and are excited to see more researchers in the community make use of this system,” said Dr. Airan.
While testing the device with rats, the team stimulated the central medial thalamus and observed arousal and increased locomotor activity. Importantly, the device did not prohibit the animal from free movement.
The system, which is called LIFUPlex XDR126, is programmable for various acoustic parameters of focused ultrasound neuromodulation, and the publication suggests that future work should use it to design new pulse sequences and map effective parameters.
The study was funded by the Stanford Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) BRAIN Initiative and HEAL Initiative, and a Stanford University School of Medicine Dean’s postdoctoral fellowship.
Researchers who are interested in using the LIFUPlex XDR126 system should contact Rebecca Shields at Sonic Concepts: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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