Focused Ultrasound Platform for Investigating Therapeutic Neuromodulation Across the Human Hippocampus

Spencer T Brinker, Frank Preiswerk, Phillip J White, Timothy Y Mariano, Nathan J McDannold, Ellen J Bubrick
Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology 2020 February 19
Pulsed low-intensity focused ultrasound (PLIFUS) has shown promise in inducing neuromodulation in several animal and human studies. Therefore, it is of clinical interest to develop experimental platforms to test repetitive PLIFUS as a therapeutic modality in humans with neurologic disorders. In the study described here, our aim was to develop a laboratory-built experimental device platform intended to deliver repetitive PLIFUS across the hippocampus in seizure onset zones of patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy. The system uses neuronavigation targeting over multiple therapeutic sessions. PLIFUS (548 kHz) was emitted across multiple hippocampal targets in a human subject with temporal lobe epilepsy using a mechanically steered piezoelectric transducer. Stimulation was delivered up to 2.25 W/cm2 spatial peak temporal average intensity (free-field equivalent), with 36%-50% duty cycle, 500-ms sonications and 7-s inter-stimulation intervals lasting 140 s per target and repeated for multiple sessions. A first-in-human PLIFUS course of treatment was successfully delivered using the device platform with no adverse events.

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