Meeting Report: iTRUSST Focused Ultrasound Neuromodulation (FUN) Symposium 2021


On September 7-10, 2021, iTRUSST held its 2nd Focused Ultrasound Neuromodulation (FUN) Symposium as an online conference originating from the University of Oxford, UK.

iTRUSST stands for The International Expert Group on Transcranial Ultrasonic Stimulation Safety and Standards. It seeks to establish a series of agreed-upon guidelines for researchers using noninvasive ultrasound neuromodulation techniques, and covers reporting, safety, ethics, experiments, and clinical trials.

Plenary speakers and their topics included:

The meeting included oral talks (hosted on Zoom webinars) and poster seasons (hosted on each day and concluded with a forum for discussing guidelines for FUN safety standards. Following the symposium, iTRUSST offered a three-day educational course September 14-16 to teach fundamentals, study planning and design, and neuromodulation mechanisms and measurements.

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was one of the meeting sponsors, and chose three abstracts for the following awards:

Other notable presentations included:

  • Sensing Mechanical Force in the Central Nervous System by Scott Hansen, Hao Wang, and E. Nicholas Petersen (Department of Molecular Medicine, Scripps Research, Jupiter, FL, USA). This study described a mechanism for how focused ultrasound decreases amyloid through transmembrane pathways using lipid rafts.
  • Sonothermogenetics Enables Noninvasive and Cell Neuromodulation by Yaoheng Yang Christopher Pham Pacia, Dezhuang Ye, Lifei Zhu, Hongchae Baek, Yimei Yue, Jinyun Yuan, Mark J. Miller, Jianmin Cui, Joseph P. Culver, Michael R. Bruchas, and Hong Chen (Washington University in St. Louis, MO, USA, and University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA). This study demonstrated how continuous wave focused ultrasound opens calcium channels for neuromodulation.

The searchable abstract book is available online.