March 2018 Research Roundup


Focused ultrasound researchers are continually searching for ways to improve the technology and expand its use. This month, we share technical articles that describe how focused ultrasound could be used to slow the growth of aggressive brain tumors and treat internal organs that are in motion. Technological advances could also improve the speed of treatment and decrease cost of procedures performed through the intact skull.

researchroundupEnhancing Glioblastoma Treatment Using Cisplatin-gold-nanoparticle Conjugates and Targeted Delivery with Magnetic Resonance-guided Focused Ultrasound
Researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children, Sunnybrook Research Institute, and the University of Toronto are looking for effective ways to deliver chemotherapy to aggressive brain tumors. Could cisplatin-gold-nanoparticles, a conjugated agent that performs well with radiation therapy, be delivered as effectively (or more effectively) with focused ultrasound to slow the growth of glioblastoma? See Nanomedicine.

A Dual-mode Hemispherical Sparse Array for Three-dimensional Passive Acoustic Mapping and Skull Localization within a Clinical MRI-guided Focused Ultrasound Device
Nathan McDannold’s group at Brigham and Women’s/Harvard Medical School worked with OxSonics to develop a new method for mapping focused ultrasound targets in the brain. The novel array is capable of B-mode imaging for skull localization, detection of cavitation, and 3-D passive acoustic imaging. If clinically proven, this type of device could allow treatment planning without the expense of real-time MRI. See Physics in Medicine and Biology.

Real-time, 3-D Ultrasound-based Motion Tracking for the Treatment of Mobile Organs with MR-guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
A team of French scientists have developed, tested, and validated a standalone 3-D ultrasound-based motion correction technique. The system, manufactured by Image-guided Therapy, uses a focused ultrasound transducer in pulse-echo mode under MR-thermometry to apply focused ultrasound to moving organs such as the liver. How well could this method improve heating efficiency? See International Journal of Hyperthermia.