April 2017 Research Roundup


Two of the articles featured this month further explore using focused ultrasound and microbubbles to open the blood-brain barrier. One investigates how this mechanism affects the microvasculature of the brain, and the other shows its promise in delivering chemotherapy to invasive brain tumors. Finally, a group in Hong Kong proposes a new protocol for large, treatment-resistant thyroid nodules after analyzing results from previous patients.


Acute Effects of Focused Ultrasound-induced Increases in Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability on Rat Microvascular Transcriptome
Blood-brain barrier disruption with focused ultrasound and microbubbles may induce transient inflammation in the brain’s microvasculature. Kullervo Hynynen and his group at Sunnybrook Research Institute used microarray analysis and bioinformatics to study the impact of sonication on proinflammatory cytokine genes in a mouse model. How might their findings affect future applications or lead to protocol modifications? See Scientific Reports.

MR Image-Guided Delivery of Cisplatin-Loaded Brain-Penetrating Nanoparticles to Invasive Glioma with Focused Ultrasound
Rich Price, Justin Hanes, and their teams at the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University used focused ultrasound—mediated delivery of drug-loaded nanoparticles across the blood-brain barrier and the blood-tumor barrier to reach and infiltrate glioblastoma multiforme in rats. Could this type of treatment control glioma growth and invasiveness and prolong survival? See the Journal of Controlled Release.

Single-Session High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Treatment in Large-Sized Benign Thyroid Nodules
Large benign thyroid lesions have typically been resistant to focused ultrasound ablation. A research group at the University of Hong Kong analyzed treatment groups based on lesion volume and total energy delivered. Their findings prompted them to propose a new protocol for ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound ablation of large nodules. See Thyroid.