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Ultrasound therapy delivery through intact skull

Ultrasound therapy delivery through intact skull at Sunnybrook Research Institute

Our goal is to deliver transcranial therapeutic ultrasound exposures noninvasively with an optimized phased array system. Experiments have shown that focused ultrasound beams can propagate through intact skull to destroy deep tissues, close blood vessels, activate drugs, open the blood-brain barrier and perhaps increase cell membrane permeability to molecules. This system could treat brain disorders such as tumours, functional problems and vascular malfunctions without difficult and invasive surgeries.

To accomplish this we plan to do the following:

  • investigate the sonication parameters that produce different physiologic or histologic end points in the brain through in vivo rabbit and rat glioma studies
  • theoretically and experimentally optimize the phased array design and the energy delivery
  • improve our theoretical treatment planning programs by taking into account all of the available information from modern imaging systems and to test and improve these models in experiments with ex vivo human skulls
  • integrate a complete phased-array system, planning software and sonication parameters into the animal experiments and perform tests in preparation for human studies.