RESEARCH THEMES

Developing advanced ultrasound techniques for imaging and therapeutic interventions

Focused Brain Interventions

  • Acoustic Holography

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Illustration by Noe Jimenez

We design and 3D-print acoustic lenses to bend acoustic fields into arbitrary patterns. Using anatomical information and advanced imaging techniques, we shape the acoustic field to treat entire brain structures (e.g., the hippocampus) or disease sites (e.g., brain tumours). 

  • Remote neuronal activation

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Illustration by Nicoletta Barolini

We use focused ultrasound and gene delivery vehicles (e.g., viral vectors) to modify neurons and make them responsive to external stimuli (e.g., light).  Using non-invasive and remote excitation approaches, we excite or inhibit distinct neural pathways, in an effort to understand brain connectivity and treat neurological conditions, such as epilepsy.

  • Targeted drug delivery into the brain

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We use focused ultrasound and circulating microbubbles to disrupt the blood-brain barrier for targeted drug delivery into the brain.  This non-invasive approach can increase the delivered doses of multiple drugs (e.g., chemotherapeutics, growth factors, proteins, and viral vectors) and drug delivery vehicles (e.g. liposomes and nanoparticles). Our group's primary focus is the treatment of paediatric and adult brain tumours.

  • Robot-assisted ultrasound therapy

Robotic ultrasound therapy

We combine robotics and custom-designed transducers to perform robot-assisted ultrasound therapy. Using advanced 6- and 7-degrees-of-freedom (7-DOF) robotic arms, we develop automated targeting routines to accelerate procedures such as blood-brain barrier opening. In combination with real-time imaging techniques and acoustic feedback, we can compensate for patient motion and treat multiple structures across arbitrary trajectories.

Super-resolution Ultrasound Imaging

  • Super-resolution imaging of the microvasculature

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Ultrasound for Imaging & Material Characterisation

  • Coherent multi-transducer ultrasound imaging

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We coherently compound images from multiple transducers using our novel CoMTUS method to increase resolution, contrast to noise ratio and field of view. Our work involves optimizing beamforming techniques and spatial orientations of the transducers to obtain the best images possible, developing the real-time imaging capabilities of our system and improving material characterisation predictions.