Why Focused Ultrasound?
Focused ultrasound is a transient, localized, and non-invasive method that is a promising alternative to conventional methods used for drug delivery or stimulation. With FUS, precise brain regions on the order of mm can be targeted for applications such as blood brain barrier (BBB) opening and neuromodulation.
FUS and the Blood Brain Barrier
FUS is the ONLY method capable of non-invasive opening of the BBB.
The blood-brain barrier presents a significant physiological barrier for drug delivery to the brain, hindering the successful treatment of many neurological disorders. With FUS, precise brain regions can be targeted. After a short exposure to pulsed FUS, the BBB within an implanted tumor and surrounding normal brain is open, allowing a molecular agent (red) to extravasate into brain tissue. Once the BBB is open, drugs, genes, or cells injected systemically can be targeted to a specific area.
FUS and Neuromodulation
FUS allows for high depth penetration and precise targeting.
Current neuromodulation methods are invasive or lack the ability to reach deep brain areas with high specificity, hindering the successful treatment of many neurological disorders. With FUS, precise brain regions can be targeted with high depth penetration. As shown in the figure below, FUS provides a lateral spatial resolution of approximately 5mm in comparison to alternative methods such as tDCS and TMS that yield resolutions on the order of centimeters .