Ultrasound does not activate but can inhibit in vivo mammalian nerves across a wide range of parameters

Hongsun Guo, Sarah J. Offutt, Mark Hamilton, Yohan Kim, Cory D Gloeckner, Daniel P. Zachs, Jamu K. Alford, Hubert H Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ultrasound (US) has been shown to stimulate brain circuits, however, the ability to excite peripheral nerves with US remains controversial. To the best of our knowledge, there is still no in vivo neural recording study that has applied US stimulation to a nerve isolated from surrounding tissue to confirm direct activation effects. Here, we show that US cannot excite an isolated mammalian sciatic nerve in an in vivo preparation, even at high pressures (relative to levels recommended in the FDA guidance for diagnostic ultrasound) and for a wide range of parameters, including different pulse patterns and center frequencies. US can, however, reliably inhibit nerve activity whereby greater suppression is correlated with increases in nerve temperature. By prohibiting the nerve temperature from increasing during US application, we did not observe suppressive effects. Overall, these findings demonstrate that US can reliably inhibit nerve activity through a thermal mechanism that has potential for various health disorders, though future studies are needed to evaluate the long-term safety of therapeutic ultrasound applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2182
JournalScientific reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Pooja Mehta for her help with the experimental setup and data interpretation. We also would like to thank Alyona Haritonova for her contributions with the thermocouple and ultrasound setups and technical discussions. We also thank Gretchen Knaack and Tyler Best for their helpful guidance and discussions on the presented research and analyses in support of DARPA. Technical resources were provided by Medtronic. The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. This research was developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) BTO under the auspices of Dr. Doug Weber and Dr. Eric Van Gieson through the DARPA Contracts Management Office Contract HR0011-16C-0014. We also thank MnDRIVE Fellowships in Neuromodulation.

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Pooja Mehta for her help with the experimental setup and data interpretation. We also would like to thank Alyona Haritonova for her contributions with the thermocouple and ultrasound setups and technical discussions. We also thank Gretchen Knaack and Tyler Best for their helpful guidance and discussions on the presented research and analyses in support of DARPA. Technical resources were provided by Medtronic. The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. This research was developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) BTO under the auspices of Dr. Doug Weber and Dr. Eric Van Gieson through the DARPA Contracts Management Office Contract HR0011-16C-0014. We also thank MnDRIVE Fellowships in Neuromodulation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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