Experts Discuss Research Direction at Blood-Brain Barrier Workshop


The Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the Kinetics Foundation organized a workshop in September to discuss the state of the technology, current challenges, and future research directions for using focused ultrasound to reversibly open the blood-brain barrier to allow the delivery of drugs directly to the brain for treatment of cancerParkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other central nervous system disorders.

This 1.5-day workshop included a multi-disciplinary group of luminaries in FUS, microbubble and nanoparticle development, drug/gene/protein delivery methodology, and neurosurgery, along with staff from three medical research foundations. Researchers representing 17 different institutions and organizations gathered in Bethesda, MD, to discuss FUS and the blood-brain barrier.

Scientists addressed the current status of the field, recent data, and the challenges most relevant to potential clinical trials. Outputs from the workshop included:

  • A preliminary clinical roadmap for FUS-enhanced blood-brain barrier opening and effective/efficient drug delivery for central nervous system applications
  • Identification of preclinical studies that are necessary to begin the clinical roadmap
  • The longer-term preclinical studies that are necessary to move the field of FUS plus microbubbles and nanoparticles for enhanced drug/gene/protein delivery toward clinical trials
  • Potential funding opportunities for collaborative research projects by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, the Kinetics Foundation, and other medical research foundations
  • A summary/white paper that will be released in the near future