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 applications for neuromodulation of deep brain structures include for stroke recovery, preclinical mapping of brain function, reduction of epileptic seizures, and for general study of the brain. We are studying the physical basis for neuromodulation using ultrasound and are engineering methods to enable and guide neuromodulation of the brain using MRI. This includes modeling of the beam and phase aberration corrections, based on MRI UTE bone imaging.
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 and epileptic foci. 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.