2021 Summer Intern Report: Dawn Bordenave

Dawn Bordenave

Xavier University of Louisiana, Class of 2021
Harvard University, Class of 2023

Project #1
Focused Ultrasound Foundation Hydrophone Tank Lens Application

Project Overview
The purpose of this project was to design a 3D printed acoustic lens to modify the focal spot of a focused ultrasound transducer. The goal was to double the volume of the focal region, as determined using the hydrophone tank as a small-scale testing site for learning wave behavior when passing through a lens and determine which lens design best expands the focal region.

Project Outcomes
We developed a donut shape lens and designed a series of models adjusting the donut hole diameter. So far, we have found the lens with a donut hole diameter of 5mm and 7.5mm have given the best results for focal region expansion. Our next step will be to create models of the lens with donut hole diameters between 5mm and 7.5mm to see if we can improve results.

Project #2
Expanding Simulation Research using CIVA Software

Project Overview
The purpose of this project is to use a numerical software – called CIVA – to simulate high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) transcranial therapy treatments, in order to predict treatment results for each patient and to explore novel applications.

Project Outcomes
We created a simulation protocol to be used at the Foundation. It consists in first generating 3D model of the skull from CT data, create a model of “brain” tissue to fill the 3D skull model, and to import these data into our simulation software. We can then simulate pressure fields and local temperature changes. In the next phase of the project, the results of these simulations will now be compared to clinical data.

What was the most important learning point of your internship experience?
The projects at the Foundation are very rigorous. I learned that I could do anything I put my mind to.

Has your internship affected your career plans? If so, how?
Yes, it has. I had never heard of focused ultrasound prior to applying to this internship. I plan to consider it as a career path and further get involved while at Harvard.

What is one piece of advice that you would give 2022 summer interns?
Stay focused, ask questions, have opinions, and know you’re just as much of a scientist as anyone else.

*CIVA is an existing software platform that is available for purchase for ultrasound simulation and analysis.