Friday, May 3, 2013

Focused Ultrasound Technology: An important development

I have received emails recently from my network alerting me to an important new development called Focused Ultrasound Technology that is destined to dramatically change the way surgeries are done, medications and therapies are delivered, and more.  Here is an overview from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation website:

How It Works

Focused ultrasound is a platform technology with a variety of biological effects in tissue that enable treatment of a wide range of clinical conditions. As represented in Figure 1 below, a specific bioeffect may enable treatment of multiple conditions; similarly, a specific condition may benefit from multiple different bioeffects. When assessing focused ultrasound to address a given clinical need, it is important to evaluate the role of many bioeffects, including the synergism between multiple bioeffects, to best optimize the treatment.
The bioeffects produced by focused ultrasound are highly localized in a small region of tissue corresponding to the focal size of the ultrasound beam. The focal size for current focused ultrasound systems in clinical use range from 4 to 60 mm in length and 2 to 16 mm in diameter; focal spots – sonications – are typically cylindrical or ellipsoidal in shape.

These localized bioeffects are produced by either thermal or mechanical mechanisms of ultrasound interaction with the targeted tissue. These thermal and mechanical effects and their biological outcomes – bioeffects – are determined by the type of tissue (muscle vs. bone, for example) and the acoustic parameters (power, transmission duration, and mode – continuous vs. pulsed).
To find out more, click on each title below for information about the various effects that focused ultrasound can have on tissues:
Thermal Effects
Mechanical Effects
Biological Effects

The areas of medicine where this technology is currently being tested includes neurological, oncological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and more.  A chart on the website shows where development stands for each clinical application in these categories.

For anyone interested in more detailed information, here are links from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation on the subject:

The direct download link is:
The download page link is:

1 comment:

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