Research Projects

Targeted-Microbubble Molecular Imaging

In this project, we aim to develop novel beamforming techniques to improve the sensitivity of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) imaging.  CEUS imaging techniques rely on the nonlinear response of microbubbles to ultrasound pressure waves in order to differentiate echoes originating from tissue and microbubbles.  However, the propagation of ultrasound in tissue creates nonlinear distortion too, so the pulse pressure must be kept low to avoid tissue signal leakage in the CEUS image.  This low pulse pressure results in low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the CEUS image. This can be challenging for imaging targeted microbubbles, where the concentration of microbubbles may be much lower than in non-targeted imaging applications.

In vivo contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) images of two mouse tumors are presented above, showing the conventional CEUS and SLSC-CEUS techniques. A high amplitude pulse is used to burst and destroy the microbubbles (MBs, visible in the pre-burst images). By taking the difference between the pre-burst and post-burst images, the tissue signals are removed while retaining MB signals. SLSC-CEUS shows a higher sensitivity to MBs in tumors with high (left) and low (right) MB retention.

Microbubble-enhanced Ultrasound Therapy

Collaborators

Lotfi Abou-Elkacem, Ph.D.

Lotfi Abou-Elkacem is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Radiology, Willmann/Translational Molecular Imaging Lab. He received the Ph.D. degree from the RWTH Aachen University in 2013, and his current research interests include early detection of pancreatic cancer using novel molecular targets and non-invasive in vivo imaging techniques.

CAP Profile (Stanford Medicine)

Tommaso Di Ianni, Ph.D.

Tommaso Di Ianni is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Radiology, Willmann/Translational Molecular Imaging Lab. He received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark in 2017,and his research interests include the development and clinical translation of noninvasive modalities for early detection and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease, based on the use of medical ultrasound.

CAP Profile (Stanford Medicine)