Current Research and Scholarly Interests
We are investigating and developing, and applying focused ultrasound in neuromodulation, blood brain barrier opening, and ablation for both neuro and body applications.
Our study of focused ultrasound neuromodulation of deep brain structures includes study of the mechanism and how to monitor/ensure accurate intensities reach the brain. We are studying neuromodulation in both small rodent models and in larger brain models.
We are using focused ultrasound in the presence of microbubbles to open the blood brain barrier in order to enhance drug delivery to cancers of the brain. We are studying how ultrasound modulates the immune system and how that can be directed toward cancer therapy. Engineering efforts are centered around finding the in situ pressure and tissue strain from the radiation force displacement measured on MRI.
We are also using focused ultrasound to thermally ablate tissue for movement disorders such as essential tremor, as well as for cancers in the body. Robust volumetric MR thermometry in the presence of motion and transducers is an ongoing engineering focus.