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Focused ultrasound

Focused ultrasound group at Sunnybrook Research Institute

The focused ultrasound (FUS) group, under the direction of Drs. Kullervo Hynynen, Rajiv Chopra and David Goertz, aims to improve health care by developing new diagnostic and noninvasive therapeutic methods using focused ultrasound. Our group is part of the physical sciences research platform at Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI).

Focused ultrasound can provide highly localized and controllable energy deposition deep in tissue. This high-frequency acoustic wave can be used to probe tissue for diagnostic purposes or to modify tissue to provide treatment. Unlike traditional surgeries, focused ultrasound can provide noninvasive treatment to previously hard-to-reach locations in the body (like the prostate, liver, brain and heart), without many of the complications and risks of surgery. Focused ultrasound can also be combined with other imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging, to augment diagnostic information or better track treatment progress. Focused ultrasound is an exciting and promising technology.

In our lab, three major research initiatives have been established:

  • to develop high power, image-guided ultrasound phased-array technology, including theoretical models, transducer arrays, driving electronics and controlling software for controlled and noninvasive ultrasound exposures of tissues
  • to develop systems for ultrasound exposure of the brain through the intact skull and research methods that use this method for patient care
  • to develop intracavitary applicators and image-guidance methods for exposure of tissues close to body cavities.

For information about our summer research program for high school students, please visit the Education and Training section.