In Vivo application and localization of transcranial focused ultrasound using dual-mode ultrasound arrays

Alyona Haritonova, Dalong Liu, Emad S. Ebbini

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33 Scopus citations


Focused ultrasound (FUS) has been proposed for a variety of transcranial applications, including neuromodulation, tumor ablation, and blood-brain barrier opening. A flurry of activity in recent years has generated encouraging results demonstrating its feasibility in these and other applications. To date, monitoring of FUS beams has been primarily accomplished using MR guidance, where both MR thermography and elastography have been used. The recent introduction of real-time dual-mode ultrasound array (DMUA) systems offers a new paradigm in transcranial focusing. In this paper, we present first experimental results of ultrasound-guided transcranial FUS (tFUS) application in a rodent brain, both ex vivo and in vivo. DMUA imaging is used for visualization of the treatment region for placement of the focal spot within the brain. This includes the detection and localization of pulsating blood vessels at or near the target point(s). In addition, DMUA imaging is used to monitor and localize the FUS-tissue interactions in real time. In particular, a concave (40 mm radius of curvature), 32-element, 3.5-MHz DMUA prototype was used for imaging and tFUS application in ex vivo and in vivo rat models. The ex vivo experiments were used to evaluate the point spread function of the transcranial DMUA imaging at various points within the brain. In addition, DMUA-based transcranial ultrasound thermography measurements were compared with thermocouple measurements of subtherapeutic tFUS heating in rat brain ex vivo. The ex vivo setting was also used to demonstrate the capability of DMUA to produce localized thermal lesions. The in vivo experiments were designed to demonstrate the ability of the DMUA to apply, monitor, and localize subtherapeutic tFUS patterns that could be beneficial in transient blood-brain barrier opening. The results show that although the DMUA focus is degraded due to the propagation through the skull, it still produces localized heating effects within a sub-millimeter volume. In addition, DMUA transcranial echo data from brain tissue allow for reliable estimation of temperature change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7348978
Pages (from-to)2031-2042
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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  • Focusing
  • In vivo
  • Monitoring
  • Real-time systems
  • Temperature measurement
  • Ultrasonic imaging


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