Caltech Team Develops New Preclinical Model for Focused Ultrasound Neuromodulation


Key Points

  • Researchers developed a new preclinical model for focused ultrasound neuromodulation (UNM).
  • It was designed to reduce the unwanted peripheral, off-target, and brain-wide auditory effects of UNM.
Guo et al. Neuromodulation graphical abstract
Graphical abstract.
Source: Hongsun Guo, et al. Effects of focused ultrasound in a “clean” mouse model of ultrasonic neuromodulation. iScience. October 31, 2023.

Effects of Focused Ultrasound in a “Clean” Mouse Model of Ultrasonic Neuromodulation

The research team at Caltech led by Mikhail Shapiro, PhD, and Hongsun Guo, PhD, recently published the results from their work developing a new preclinical model for focused ultrasound neuromodulation (UNM). The team’s “clean” mouse model was designed to reduce unwanted peripheral and off-target, brain-wide auditory effects of UNM. In other models, the brain target is often obscured by these unwanted effects.

The newly developed model has two main advantages: It can be deafened to minimize off-target effects, and it allows visualization of neural activity with fluorescent calcium imaging. When running simulations and testing the new model at various focused ultrasound parameters, the team was able to chart out which effects occur at various parameters.

“The modeling results together with our experimental data establish a range of pressure-dependent off-target and/or localized effects of focused UNM,” said Dr. Guo. “The clean mouse model clearly reveals these effects, because it prevents indirect cortical activation within a certain pressure range.”

Using the new model should allow more advanced sonogenetics research and higher pressure stimulation experiments.

See iScience (Open Source)