The Foundation collaborated with two focused ultrasound device manufacturers, Verasonics and Sonic Concepts, to expand the companies' HIFUPlex portfolio to include full turnkey, ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound solutions for preclinical research. With the new devices, users from different organizations no longer have to write their own software or source and assemble parts from multiple vendors. The Foundation played a central role in advising on device usability and software features.

The following press release was issued by Verasonics and Sonic Concepts to announce the project. 

Verasonics and Sonic Concepts Announce Successful Completion of Research Funding Agreement with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation

Verasonics Expands Focused Ultrasound Offering with HIFUPlex Elite, Full-Turnkey Preclinical Solutions for Small and Large Subjects

Kirkland, WA, August 26, 2021 – Verasonics, a leader in research ultrasound, and Sonic Concepts, Inc., Bothell, WA, an innovator of high-performance transducers, today announced the success and near completion of a Research Funding Agreement with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Charlottesville, VA. The parties collaborated to expand the HIFUPlex Portfolio to include full turnkey ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound solutions for preclinical research on both small and large subjects. Each solution offers positioning of the transducers for 3D planning, therapy delivery, and monitoring in a single system.

“Focused ultrasound, a noninvasive therapeutic technology, has gained substantial momentum in in the past decade. There are over 150 indications currently under investigation,” said Dr. Emily White, Managing Director at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “When we were approached about this project initially, we could see the value of developing a turnkey research platform that would be easy to use for investigators without an engineering background. A system like this will lower the barrier to entry for clinicians interested in starting a focused ultrasound research program. Additionally, if the platform gains widespread use, the field will benefit from comparable outcomes data for the ultrasound community. Historically research sites have custom built their own research systems which makes comparing data difficult.”

“As a career focused ultrasound researcher, it was exciting to have input into designing the system. I shared my experience and pain points with existing equipment and asked for something better, ” says Dr. Fred Padilla, Director of Applied Physics at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “I’m looking forward to using the new system with the research protocols I’m now developing.”

The HIFUPlex Elite portfolio was designed to facilitate and advance FUS research across a variety of clinical areas. The system brings together the best of Verasonics’ Vantage platform and Sonic Concepts’ therapy and imaging transducers to provide customers with premium quality, innovative products, and exceptional versatility.

“The use of ultrasound-guided FUS is growing due to its flexibility and lower cost,” stated Jon K. Daigle, President and CEO, Verasonics, Inc. “Verasonics is thrilled to expand its portfolio to address the evolving needs in focused ultrasound research and product development.”

About HIFUPlex Elite
HIFUPlex Elite 1000 includes a benchtop platform with motorized positioning of the applicator and motorized rotation of the imaging transducer for 3D USgFUS on small subjects. The compact benchtop platform offers x- and y-axis mechanical computer-controlled motion of the applicator. HIFUPlex Elite 1000 is compatible only with the HIFUPlex -01, -02 and -03 transducers, which add z-axis axial steering. The water conditioning unit provides degassed water as well as heater and chiller for automatic, closed-loop temperature control.

HIFUPlex Elite 3000 includes an applicator arm and integrated cart for easy manual positioning of the transducers and motorized rotation of the imaging transducer for 3D USgFUS on large subjects. HIFUPlex Elite 3000 is compatible with any of the HIFUPlex transducers. The integrated cart has attachments for dual monitors and is designed to contain all the hardware. The integrated water conditioning unit provides degassed water as well as heater and chiller for automatic, closed-loop temperature control. The bladder coupling system is an alternative to the larger cone included with the HIFUPlex-04, -05 and -06 transducers, for increased treatment depth.

About Focused Ultrasound
Focused ultrasound is becoming increasingly preferred as a valuable noninvasive therapeutic technology across a wide spectrum of clinical areas including cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, and women’s health. Focused ultrasound demonstrates important and growing utility in a variety of application areas, using a range of modalities such as tissue destruction, drug delivery, immunomodulation, and stem cell honing. MRI has predominantly been used to guide focused ultrasound, however researchers today are more often developing ultrasound-guided applications because they are more flexible and less costly. Ultrasound is ideal not only for energy delivery, but also to identify, guide, and target tissue in real time, as well as to monitor the treatment.

About Verasonics, Inc.
Verasonics is a privately held company founded in 2001, with headquarters in Kirkland, Washington, USA. Verasonics is the leader in research ultrasound and is focused on providing researchers and developers with the most advanced and flexible tools enabling them to develop new algorithms and products used in biomedical ultrasound, materials science, earth sciences, and the physics of acoustics and ultrasonics. Verasonics also licenses its technology to companies for use in their commercial products. Verasonics has customers located in over 35 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. For more information, visit https://verasonics.com/

About Sonic Concepts, Inc.
Founded in 1986, Sonic Concepts, Bothell, WA, delivers premium ultrasonic systems to the biomedical, industrial, marine and research markets. The Company specializes in designing and manufacturing transducers, electronics, and software. Transducers and systems are installed in leading corporate and academic research labs around the world. For more information, visit https://sonicconcepts.com/

About The Focused Ultrasound Foundation
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was created to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide by accelerating the development of this noninvasive technology. The Foundation works to clear the path to global adoption by organizing and funding research, fostering collaboration, and building awareness among patients and professionals. Since its establishment in 2006, the Foundation has become the largest nongovernmental source of funding for focused ultrasound research. For more information, visit http://www.fusfoundation.org

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